Officials provide more information on high number of heroin overdoses

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JENNINGS COUNTY, Ind-- Officials in Jennings County provided more information on a string of heroin overdoses hit the area Tuesday night.

Nine people overdosed within a span of just a few hours in Jennings County. Seymour police also responded to four separate overdose calls.

In Jennings County, a 52-year-old died after overdosing. First responders administered multiple doses of Narcan in an attempt to save her life. Out of the nine people who overdosed in the county, four of them are teenagers, including a 16-year-old female. The majority were administered multiple doses of Narcan before being taken to the hospital.

“On one call, our deputies administered Narcan two times and rescue 20 paramedics, when they arrived, they also had to administer Narcan two times," said Jennings County Sheriff's Department PIO Lt. Mike Mowery.

A majority of the calls in Jennings County were in the Hayden area. Hayden Corner Store manager, Shantell Campbell, said she witnessed an overdose happening in the parking lot of the store.

“He had a syringe on his lap and the driver in the vehicle was trying to get a response from him and nothing was happening," Campbell said. "He wasn’t moving whenever I got here. He was just laying there on the ground and I thought he was dead."

Campbell said first responders arrived just a few short minutes after her aunt called 911 for help. First responders told her the man may not have survived if they waited to call 911.

Deputies are looking into if the calls are connected to another string of heroin overdoses in Cincinnati. They are also looking into the possibility that the heroin was laced with fentanyl.

“Whatever it is that’s causing this is taking a toll on the community and we’re gonna try to get to the bottom of this as soon as we can.”

In Seymour, police arrested Michael Purvis, 34, on drug dealing charges. Jennings County Sheriff's Department Deputies arrested four people on drug possession charges. Jarvie Williams III, 23, Damon Clark, 25, Caleb Barton, 18, and Devin R. Fear, 21, were all arrested in connection with the overdoses.

Deputies said if they can find the person responsible for selling heroin to the woman who died, they will look into filing homicide charges.

“They’re basically playing Russian roulette. One times all it takes and the drug dealer, they don’t care. They don’t care about the user, the users family," said Jennings County Prosecutor, Brian Belding.

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