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Task force: Overdose deaths don’t appear to be related

Over four days, three people died in the Outer Banks in what appeared to be fatal drug overdoses, but authorities say they don’t think they’re dealing with a “bad batch” of heroin. 

The first death, on April 13 in Kill Devil Hills, involved a man from Virginia Beach who apparently brought opioids with him, said town police Lt. J.C. Towler. 

The next came April 15 with the death of a 43-year-old man at a home on Wallace Street in Kill Devil Hills, followed by two overdoses at the same home in Wanchese on Monday, one of them fatal. 

In that case, the Dare County Narcotics Task Force charged Tyrique Lazara Wise, 32, of the 100 Block of Newbern Road in Jarvisburg, with second-degree murder and drug charges after a woman overdosed and survived, but a 40-year-old man did not. 

Dare County sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Duprey, who leads the regional narcotics task force, said it’s somewhat unusual to have so many fatal overdoses at one time, but evidence so far doesn’t point to the opioids involved coming from one particular place. 

“But we are looking into it,” Duprey said. 

In the Wanchese case, the two overdoses happened just hours apart at the same home. 

The investigation began with a 911 call to the 1000 block of E.R. Daniels Road at 12:48 p.m., where a woman was treated at the scene by the Wanchese and Manteo fire departments for a suspected heroin overdose. She was treated at Outer Banks Hospital and released, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. 

At 3:02 p.m., authorities were called back to the same house for a 40-year-old man in cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the release said. 

The investigation quickly led detectives to Tyrique Wise, who is now the second person ever charged with murder in connection with a fatal overdose in Dare County. And he’s no stranger to law-enforcement. 

In December, Wise was one of 26 people arrested from Currituck to Avon in a task force roundup of suspected narcotics dealers. He was charged with felony possession of cocaine and released on an $8,000 secured bond. 

In the latest case, Wise is being held on charges of murder and felony sale and/or delivery of heroin. He’s being held at the Dare County Detention Center on $550,000 bond. 

In Dare County last year, eight people died in opioid overdoses, four of them involving fentanyl and four involving heroin, according to the state health department. 

  • Need help?  The Dare Coalition Against Substance Abuse offers resources for those struggling with addiction, for their families and for drug-abuse prevention. See darecasa.org