Police in Ludington are investigating three overdose deaths, likely linked to heroin use, in the span of 11 days. All three deaths occurred within a two-mile radius.
The first man, a 24-year-old Ludington resident, died at a home on East Melendy Street on May 11. The second death, a 34-year-old Ludington man, occurred near Washington and Ludington Avenues on May 12. The final overdose happened on May 22. When a 31-year-old Scottville resident died at a home on St. Catherine Street.
Investigators believe the heroin was purchased outside of Ludington. The heroin they may have used from the same batch, said Ludington Police Chief Mark Barnett.
"Three deaths in an 11-day period is very unique for Ludington or any of Mason County," Barnett said. "So it's hard to believe that it would be anything more random than that."
Prior to the three deadly overdoses, Ludington police had responded to 18 since March of 2016; two resulted in fatalities, Barnett said. Responding officers, he added, were able to save sixteen people using Naloxone, an opioid antagonist with a common brand of Narcan.
"It's been an invaluable tool for the officers to be able to use and to respond and to bring the people out of the overdose," Barnett said.
The string of deaths should be a wake up call for the community, which needs to come together to fight this issue, he said.
"[Cops] can't arrest ourselves out of the situation," Barnett said. "And it's going to take a really holistic approach to solve this in Ludington and Mason County."
Police are asking for help to find the source of the heroin that caused the three deaths.
Anyone with any information on any of the deaths is asked to call Detective Aaron Sailor at the Ludington Police Department at (231) 843-3425 or the State Sheriffs Cities Enforcement of Narcotics Team at (231) 843-7045.
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