Ohio police chief suffers fatal overdose on drugs taken from his own evidence room, investigators say

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KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio — An Ohio police chief died of an accidental fentanyl overdose after the drugs were removed from his department’s evidence room, according to a FOX News report.

James Hughes Jr., chief of the Kirkersville Police Department, was found unresponsive in his home on May 25 and pronounced dead shortly after. An autopsy revealed he had died from “acute intoxication by fentanyl.”

The incident is being investigated by Reynoldsburg Police. A spokesperson said said packaging was discovered “that indicated that he was taking controlled substances” from the evidence room.

According to the coroner’s office, a plastic sandwich bag found where Hughes died tested positive for cocaine. A syringe was also determined to be positive for fentanyl, the Newark Advocate reported.

Hughes, who was 35 years old, had only been on the job for a few months before he died. He leaves behind a wife and three young children. A GoFundMe account was set up to help the family, and the Kirkersville Village Council provided $1,500 to help cover funeral expenses.

Wright said he plans to contact the state’s attorney general’s office once the investigation is completed so the state can look into the Kirkersville Police Department’s practices, especially when it comes to the evidence room.

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