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Article published February 3, 2014
County has 3rd apparent heroin death
Three people in Butler County now have died of apparent heroin overdoses after injecting what police believe was “Theraflu.” The most recent fatality, authorities said, was Sunday when 21-year-old Brittany Hays died in her Worth Township mobile home. State police said family members found Hays unresponsive in the bathroom. On the floor were four bags of suspected heroin stamped with the name “Theraflu,” and other drug paraphernalia. Butler County Coroner William Young III pronounced her dead at the scene. Police described Hays as “an active heroin user.” Investigators would not say it they have any idea where the woman got the drugs but state police Sgt. Patrick Sarnese acknowledged they are chasing leads. Officials have already identified two of the other suspected “Theraflu” fatalities as 30-year-old Jayson K. Berardini who overdosed in his Penn Township home last week. And 41-year-old Richard Coward died Jan. 25 at his Middlesex Township mobile home. Authorities note that the cause of death in each of the cases cannot be definitive until toxicology tests are returned from a laboratory, which can take a month or longer.