A fentanyl overdose is suspected in the deaths of an Ohio pilot, Brian J. Halye, 36, and his wife, Courtney A. Halye, 34, whose bodies were discovered by their four children in their Centerville home, located near Dayton. According to family members, Courtney Halye had been battling drug problems for a long time.
CBS News reported that Ohio pilot, Brain J. Halye, had been a pilot for Spirit Airlines for more than nine years. Spirit Airlines reported that March 10 was the last time he had piloted a flight. According to CBS affiliate, WHIO, the couples children called 911 when they discovered their parents’ motionless bodies.
FOX 61 reported that the pilot and his wife were found in a bedroom dead. Two 911 calls were placed from the house. In one, the oldest child talks to a dispatcher. His sisters, who are younger than he is, can be heard in the background crying.
According to NBC News, the 911 calls were made after their parents neglected to wake them up to get ready for school. The Hayles’ son told 911 dispatchers that his parents were very cold to the touch. He said that his sisters described their father’s face as looking pale with black lines all over it.
Centerville Police Department spokesman John Davis said drug paraphernalia found at the scene was an indication that the couple had died from a drug-related incident.
In January 2016, police in Centerville, Ohio, were contacted by Nancy Casey, Courtney Halye’s mother. She told police that her daughter threatened to harm herself and had been abusing narcotic drugs. Casey told officers her daughter had abused drugs on and off for about seven years. Casey also said that she suspected her daughter was high on that day.
At that time, Brian Halye told police that his wife had come home and had locked him out. He reportedly forced his way into the house, worried that his wife was trying to gain access to two guns he had in the home.
When Brian Hayle entered the house, his wife had both of the guns in her hands. Brian Hayle took the guns away from his wife just as officers arrived on scene.
CBS News reported that the police who responded said Hayle’s wife appeared to be mentally unstable and either intoxicated or suffering from a medical issue related to diabetes. Brian Hayle reportedly told police that his wife had battled cocaine and heroin addiction for quite some time. The police requested medics, according to CBS News, who took Courtney Hayle to the hospital to receive medical treatment.
Fentanyl is an opioid painkiller similar to morphine but more powerful. From 2013 to 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids went up by 80 percent. The CDC report states that in 2014, approximately 5,500 people died from synthetic opioid overdoses.
According to the DEA, fentanyl “is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.” Also, when fentanyl is combined with street drugs, heroin and cocaine, it amplifies their potency and potential dangers, according to the CDC.
According to Fox 61, Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s office, said that preliminary autopsy results for both individuals indicated that they had died from an accidental drug overdose. The coroner’s preliminary findings suggest the couple very well may have overdosed on heroin or fentanyl, according to the Dayton Daily News.
While it is suspected that the deaths of a Ohio pilot and his wife are likely due to a fentanyl overdose, Betz said the actual cause of death remains unknown, pending the results of toxicology reports, which will take approximately four to six weeks to complete.
By John Samuels
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