KENOSHA, Wis. - Kenosha police say a 14-year-old is suspected of overdosing on fentanyl. Detectives say it happened earlier this month in Kenosha County. Police say the case is far from closed.
"Fentanyl is a killer, and if you are doing a drug that doesn’t come from a pharmacy, it's likely fentanyl is in it," said Joseph Nosalik, Kenosha police.
Kenosha police are still investigating, but they say a 14-year-old’s overdose earlier this month on the city’s south side is likely tied to fentanyl.
"It’s concerning to Kenosha County as a whole," said Nosalik.
Nosalik said the 14-year-old is the youngest overdose victim he’s come across in his 24 years with the department. He said the county has seen a steady increase in fentanyl deaths from three in 2014 to 40 in 2021.
"The data we have so far would suggest we will likely exceed what we did last year," said Nosalik.
One mother says more needs to be done in education before another life fades with this epidemic.
"The education is lacking," said Erin Rachwal. "We need our schools and administrators – we need the stigma to end."
Rachwal lost her son, Logan, to fentanyl poisoning on Valentine's Day 2021. He was a student at UW-Milwaukee. Rachwal said she’s saddened to hear of another young death.
"We are at war in our own country," said Rachwal. "Some of us are allowing this to happen. Can we stop that? I don’t know."
In Kenosha, police have several overdose cases that remain open. Detectives hope they're closed, with dealers and manufacturers in jail.
"If we can attribute someone supplying a drug to another person and selling it as crack cocaine and that person dies as a result of it, there is a possibility we could piece together the puzzle back to the person who sold them the illegal drug," said Nosalik.
The Kenosha County medical examiner said it could take up to four months to get toxicology results back for the 14-year-old who died. Police are not releasing any other information about the boy until those results come back.