- A 29-year-old mother, Michelle Kerry Eddo, died from a cocaine overdose that was laced with fentanyl in the parking lot of the Shops at Riverside mall in Hackensack, NJ.
- Four other mall employees also overdosed on the drug, but they survived. The group was unaware that the cocaine was laced with a dangerous amount of fentanyl.
- New York officials arrested two Paterson men in connection to the overdoses. Garfield Jones and Robert McCrae have been charged with various drug-related offenses. The authorities are working to identify and prosecute drug dealers for curbing fentanyl overdoses in the community.
A New Jersey mother lost her life after she and four others overdosed on cocaine laced with fentanyl in the parking lot of a shopping mall where they worked, as police revealed that two people were caught in the act.
Identified as Michelle Kerry Eddo, 29, of Bergenfield, N.J., she died on the Saturday of last week, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser set up by the woman’s family.
The woman’s death came three days after she and four other female mall employees were found on March 15 in the lower level of the Shops at Riverside mall parking lot in Hackensack.
The mall workers, who have not been identified, survived drug use.
The group thought they were ingesting cocaine and didn’t know it was laced with a dangerous amount of fentanyl, Bergen prosecutors reported.
Good Samaritans performed CPR on the women before paramedics arrived, who administered an overdose-reversal drug called Narcan.
Four of the five people, ages 29 to 41, were transported to Hackensack University Medical Center for treatment, while the fifth remained on site and declined further treatment, police said.
The fatality worked at the Cheesecake Factory in the mall and was remembered as a loving mother to her daughter, Ava.
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Edoo worked full-time at the Cheesecake Factory but had just enrolled in nursing school, the fundraiser said.
Separately, New York officials arrested two Paterson, N.J., men Friday for involvement with the overdoses.
One of those arrested, Garfield Jones, 48, is charged with third-degree possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and third-degree possession of a controlled substance, the prosecutor’s office said.
Likewise, Robert McCrae, 52, is charged with third-degree possession with intent to distribute less than one-half ounce of heroin and fourth-degree possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia, authorities said.
“We’re here to sound the alarm,” Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said at a news conference Friday.
“The death is due to fentanyl pouring into our communities, killing our friends, and killing our family members.”
Police stated that they would work to identify and prosecute drug dealers in the fight to curb fentanyl overdoses, NJ.com reported.