It’s been a deadly year for drug overdoses so far in Yakima County says Coroner Jim Curtice.

The Coroner says 81 people have died in Yakima so far this year

81 people have died of drug overdoses with at least 28 directly connected to the deadly drug fentanyl. Curtice says he’s still waiting on toxicology reports on 27 other suspected fentanyl deaths in the county. Yakima Police say on Tuesday Drug Enforcement Agency agents and Yakima Police Department DEA Task Force Officers arrested a 31-year-old Yakima woman for her connection with what Yakima Police call the “overdose homicide” of 47-year-old Brian Ziegler.

After finding Ziegler dead an investigation lead them to arrest the 31-year-old woman

The Yakima man was found dead on July 11 at his home in the 7700 block of Westbrook Avenue. An investigation found he died from an overdose of the drug fentanyl. That’s when DEA agents and Yakima Police Department DEA Task Force Officers took over the investigation, which led them to the 31-year-old female, who they believe delivered the fentanyl to Ziegler. The woman, who hasn’t been identified is now in the Yakima County jail. She faces charges of drug delivery and controlled substance homicide.

Yakima Police Officers worked with DEA agents to make the arrest

Yakima Police Capt. Jay Seely says “I commend our DEA federal partners and task force officers on their work with this case. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous with a high mortality rate, yet there are those who are willing to tempt fate and unfortunately this is usually the end result.”

Yakima has seen rising case numbers of overdoses for the last 3 years

While it’s been a deadly year so far this year, the number of overdose deaths in Yakima County last year were also high. Curtice says 2020 saw more overdose deaths in the county than the previous two years. Last year Curtice says 75 people died of a drug overdose with half being related to the deadly drug fentanyl. 50 people died of an overdose in all of 2019 in Yakima County. 38 overdosed and died in 2018.
Today the number stands at 81 and there’s still more than two months left in the year.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

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