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UPDATE: 25-year-old found dead in apparent heroin overdose

Posted: March 18, 2014 12:56 p.m.
Updated: March 18, 2014 5:33 p.m.

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff officials logged what appears to be the first heroin overdose death of the year Tuesday with the sudden death of a 25-year-old man in Newhall, law enforcement sources said.

Anthony Michael Tumasone, 25, of Briardale Way, was pronounced dead at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday at his home, said Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department.

Although a coroner’s investigation is expected to confirm Tumasone’s exact cause of death, investigators close to the case said the fatality appears to be the first known heroin-related death this year, said Investigator Bob Wachsmuth with the SCV Sheriff’s Station Juvenile Intervention Team.

Determining the official cause of death will require many tests, including a toxicology test, which requires about six weeks, Winter said.

News of Tumasone’s death comes on the heels of a report by Wachsmuth that fewer people are using heroin locally compared to the alarming numbers witnessed two years ago.

“We’re always going to have drug overdoses because the problem hasn’t gone away,” he said Tuesday. “We’re in a better place than we were a couple of years ago.”

Documented deaths from heroin totaled four in the Santa Clarita Valley in 2013, Wachsmuth said, compared to at least 16 in 2012.

The case is being handled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, said Sgt. Delicia Hernandez of the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt



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