Drug overdose in mall bathroom claims life of Black Friday shopper

Posted at 10:58 PM, Dec 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 22:58:42-05

BARBOURSVILLE, WV (WSAZ/CNN) - A holiday shopper at a West Virginia mall was found dead in a bathroom stall from an apparent drug overdose. It happened on Black Friday.

Police and shoppers say they've seen so many overdoses, they're not surprised.  Black Friday, a day dedicated to shopping, has a different meaning for one local family. It's the dark day their loved one went to shop but never made it out of the bathroom, dead from an apparent drug overdose.

"Nothing surprises us anymore because we see this so often and that's sad,” said Greg Lucas of the Barboursville Police.

Barboursville Police say a 35-year-old man from Kentucky walked into the mall around 6 a.m., shopping flyer in hand, and was dropped off by a female friend. His first stop was a department store bathroom.

Detective Greg Lucas says he was found dead in a stall by a custodian around 6:20 a.m. “It's as if you and I were taking aspirin in the morning before we went shopping. It's become that sad,” Lucas said.

For shoppers like Mary Summerfield, a fatal overdose in the store is not a surprise. "They're everywhere and it's a shame,” she said. 

Other shoppers shared a similar view. "It's terrible. It's just a widespread epidemic. It's really sad,” said Bea Sexton.

Police say while a 6 a.m. fatality is unusual, one in a public bathroom is not, ironically, because of its relative privacy.

"Oh, I always look around before I go in the bathroom,” Sexton said. Lucas says she does as well because some drugs are lethal even to the touch.

If someone come across an overdose victim, they should call 911 and not approach the person to give CPR  because they might be overcome by the drug.

Shoppers like Sexton wish there was a way to stop the drug problem. But even if there's not, they say the latest overdose will not stop their shopping.

"It's everywhere,” Sexton said. "We come here a lot and I don't see any reason not to come,” Summerfield said. 

While police say all evidence points to a drug overdose, they won't know for sure until autopsy results come back. Police say the man leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter.

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