Hollywood student detained in connection with teenage girl’s fentanyl overdose death


A Bernstein High School student was arrested Thursday in connection with the death of another student who died at the Hollywood school after ingesting pills containing fentanyl, authorities say.

A police source told The Times that a teenager had been detained by the Los Angeles Police Department for questioning.

Around 9 p.m. Tuesday, LAPD officers responded to a possible overdose at the school, located in the 1300 block of North Wilton Place, according to a police news release.

A girl, who was suffering from a possible overdose, told her stepfather that her friend was in the girls’ bathroom, police said. The parent and a school employee found an unresponsive student inside the bathroom and attempted to save lives.

Los Angeles Fire Department arrived and pronounced the girl dead at the scene. The other student was taken to a local hospital in stable condition. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased girl as 15-year-old Melanie Ramos.

Ten students, including the four on Tuesday night, have overdosed in the past three weeks from drugs obtained at Lexington Park, located a few blocks from Bernstein, according to the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Alberto Carvalho.

The district did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Carvalho met with Melanie’s parents on Wednesday morning and confirmed that two of the four girls who overdosed, including the one who died, are 15-year-olds from Bernstein. The third girl was a 17-year-old from Hollywood High School, and Carvalho had no information about the fourth victim.

The LAPD is working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in the investigation due to the ongoing nature of drug sales, Carvalho said.

Police have warned that it is increasingly common for drug dealers to mix pills with fentanyl – a highly addictive synthetic opioid used in medical settings to treat extreme pain. The drug is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, making it very dangerous outside of medical settings.

Times writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.

Los Angeles Times

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