Drugs were deemed to be a factor in a number of local deaths according to the coroner's office. Madison County Coroner Stephen P. Nonn released results from a number of investigations on Friday, concluding that drugs played a role in four accidental deaths reported earlier this summer. 51-year old Leslie N. Paul of Worden was found dead in his home on June 11th. The coroner's office reports that cause of death was combined toxicity with ethanol and fentanyl. The decedent also had a blood alcohol level of .061 at the time of death.
43-year old Johnette J. Gillespie of Edwardsville was pronounced dead at Anderson Hospital on July 14th. The cause of death in this case has been identified as polypharmacy overdose. Toxicology testing also revealed methadone and other opiate drugs to be in her system at the time of death.
31-year old Aaron J. Bonds of Hazelwood, Missouri was pronounced dead in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Walgreens Drug Store on Washington Avenue in Alton on June 13th. The coroner says the cause of death in this case was acute opiate intoxication. Toxicology screening revealed the presence of morphine at a lethal level and a blood alcohol level of .029.
36-year old Dwana D. Rieke of Highland was found dead in an apartment in Highland on June 23rd. The coroner reports the cause of death to be opiate intoxication. A lethal level of morphine was found in her system at the time of death. She was also to have medication for depression and anxiety as well as muscle relaxers in her system according to the coroner's office.
The coroner also reports a victim struck by an unidentified vehicle on June 6th died of throracoabdominal blunt trauma. 35-year old Jack Wayne Hoppe of Granite City was pronounced dead on the bike trial near Victory Lane Drive and Terminal Drive in Granite City. He had a blood alcohol level of .239 at the time of death and his drug screening was negative.