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One dead in possible overdose in north Fargo

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Police and medics responded to a north Fargo home on Tuesday, May 16, for a medical call initially described as a suspected drug overdose. One person was found dead, police say. WDAY News2 / 3
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FARGO – One person was found dead in a north Fargo home Tuesday afternoon, May 16, after police responded to a call 911 dispatchers described as a suspected drug overdose.

Police responded to the 911 call Tuesday shortly after 1 p.m. to the apartment at 1024 Broadway to provide medical assistance, said Fargo Deputy Police Chief Joe Anderson. The cause of death and the gender or age of the person who died is not being released at this time, Anderson added.

A resident of the apartment complex said police were there less than a month ago on an overdose call. Donnie Kirkland, 29, said he’s called police on several occasions, concerned about the activity and people frequenting the one-bedroom efficiency apartment where the possible overdose occurred that is directly above the unit he shares with his girlfriend, Hailey Rostad.

“I’m not stupid, I know what they’re doing up there,” Kirkland said.

On Tuesday, Kirkland got home around 2 p.m. with cops at the scene, his driveway blocked off and medical crews getting the stretcher from the ambulance. Asked if he was surprised when he heard someone may have died of an overdose, he said “no, not at all.”

A woman rents the unit above the couple, Kirkland said, but they saw her Tuesday afternoon so whoever overdosed was not a resident of the complex.

Rostad said she has found needles out by the dumpsters of the complex and in the basement laundry room, where she avoids going to because of the paraphernalia and people.

The couple said they will not be renewing their lease and will be looking for a new place because they can’t continue dealing with the drug activity in the apartment.

“We hope the best for them, but we can't take it anymore,” Kirkland said. “It sucks that it has to come to this point.”

If it is a drug overdose, it would be at least the fifth overdose death in Fargo so far this year.

Drug overdoses shot up to dangerous new levels in 2016, largely driven by abuse of opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. Sixty-nine overdoses were reported, 15 of them fatal.

So far this year, the trend has slowed down somewhat, police say. In 2017, as of last week, there had been 10 reports of overdoses in Fargo, four of which resulted in deaths. At the same point in 2016, there had been 25 overdose reports and six deaths.

WDAY News contributed to this report.

    Kim Hyatt

    Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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