Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

January 8, 2013

One death ruled overdose, another accident

EFFINGHAM — The death of an Effingham woman last fall has been officially ruled a heroin overdose.

Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffey said Ashla R. Owens, 20, had been found dead in her home on Oct. 8. Guffey said authorities have known for some time that Owens succumbed to an overdose, but the official release had been delayed while police investigated her death.

Guffey said the heroin found in Owens' body was particularly lethal because of its relative potency.

"There was a significant amount of heroin in her system, but there was also a high degree of purity in that drug," he said.

Effingham Detective Sgt. Todd Ebbert said city police conducted numerous interviews in connection with Owens' death. Ebbert said that information has been forwarded to the office of State's Attorney Bryan Kibler for further review.

When reached for comment, Kibler said the matter was still under invevstigation.

Ebbert said Illinois has a drug-induced homicide law on the books. He said, however, that it's not clear whether anyone will be charged under that law.

Guffey also reported Monday the death of Cain Alexander "Alex" Daughtery, 17, was an accident. Daughtery had been struck by a train last Nov. 10 as he walked on railroad tracks.

Guffey said toxicology tests on Daughtery's body were negative.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at bill. grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.

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