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The original item was published from 5/17/2023 9:08:29 PM to 7/18/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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Palm Desert Station

Posted on: May 17, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Fatal Fentanyl Poisoning of a Juvenile

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Riverside County Sheriff-Press Release

Reporting Deputy: Sergeant Sean Liebrand

File # O222330020


Michael Garcia

On August 21, 2022, about 8:57 a.m., personnel from the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station responded to a call of an unresponsive female juvenile in the 15000 block of Via Quedo in the unincorporated area of Desert Hot Springs. Upon arrival, it was determined a 17-year-old female was found unresponsive in a bedroom. Lifesaving measures were unsuccessful, and the juvenile was ultimately pronounced deceased. The investigation determined the female juvenile had overdosed on fentanyl. The case was immediately assumed by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Overdose Death Investigations and Narcotics Unit (ODIN).

Over the next several months, the investigation was relentlessly worked and a suspect, Michael Garcia (22) from Desert Hot Springs, was identified as being the suspect responsible for furnishing the Fentanyl that killed the juvenile. The investigation was presented to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and charges have been filed against Garcia. Riverside County Sheriff’s Office personnel have been unable to locate Garcia. An arrest warrant has been issued for Garcia and anyone with information on Garcia’s whereabouts is asked to call Riverside Sheriff’s Dispatch at 951-776-1099.

This is an ongoing investigation. Additional suspects have been identified and further arrests are anticipated. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Master Investigator Jim Peters at 951-955-1700.  The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind citizens of the dangers of illicit narcotics, many of which may contain Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine and can cause death or serious bodily harm.

For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.

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