Three Young Women Gathered in Akron for a Birthday Celebration, Then They Overdosed and Died

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ASHTYN ANDRADE (LEFT) AND TARA WILLIAMS, FB
  • Ashtyn Andrade (left) and Tara Williams, FB

Ashtyn Andrade was set to celebrate her 20th birthday last Friday night with her fiancee and high school sweetheart Tara Williams, 20, and their friend Courtney Collier, 20, who worked with Williams at McDonald's.

Ashtyn and Tara had relocated from Arizona to Akron last year and planned to get married soon, Ashtyn's mother told the Akron Beacon Journal.

“I know Ashtyn and she loved Tara more than anything in the world,” she said.

The celebration might have started with a trip to a bowling alley, judging by a picture on one of the woman's Facebook pages. It ended sometime that evening at a house on Sycamore Street near Firestone Park where Tara and Ashtyn lived. By the time cops arrived the next evening to conduct a welfare check, following a call from Courtney Collier's boyfriend and mother after she didn't show up for work, the three women were dead.



When they forced their way into the house, they found Tara, Ashtyn and Courtney unresponsive on the living room floor.

Two straws, a dollar bill and powder residue were discovered in the kitchen.

Fentanyl is the likely suspect here, whether combined with cocaine, heroin or something else. Autopsies have been completed, but toxicology reports could take a few more weeks.

Many of the 199 overdose deaths in Summit County last year involved multiple drugs, including those mixed with fentanyl. The same trend was seen in Cuyahoga County's 822 overdose deaths in 2017. Fentanyl's prevalence up and down the drug supply chain, with a potency at 50-times more powerful than heroin, has authorities raising alarms more dire than at any point during the opioid epidemic's rise and calling for more people to carry Narcan, an overdose antidote.

“I am thankful that the last thing I said to my daughter is ‘I love you,’’’ Joanna Andrade, Ashtyn's mother, told the ABJ. “This should not happen to any parent.”

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