8 overdose deaths reported in Milwaukee County last weekend

Posted at 6:03 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 20:02:25-05

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner is investigating eight probable overdose deaths from this weekend. All of the victims were men, and many were found unresponsive by friends or family members.

Drug overdose cases now account for more than a third of the medical examiner's workload.

"I think if you look around, you'll see more and more people are emotionally tied to these numbers," said Sara Schreiber, the forensic technical director at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's office.

She said eight probable overdose deaths is a lot for one weekend, but it's part of an alarming trend.

"We're averaging more than one a day for the beginning of this year already," she said. "So if we continue on this track, we're definitely going to surpass the numbers from last year."

In 2016, the medical examiners office had 331 confirmed drug overdose cases, but that number could still increase as some cases are still pending toxicology reports.

The medical examiner's office says they are on pace right now to see 444 drug overdose deaths in 2017.

On Saturday, a resident on Milwaukee's south side said she saw a car parked in the 400 block of Harrison Avenue for hours with its hazard lights on.

We spoke to that neighbor off-camera, who said she walked out her back porch and found 23-year-old Marco Hipolito lying on the ground behind a home.

She said she ran to Hipolito with a blanket and felt for a pulse, but couldn't find one. Police say he later died at the hospital.

On Sunday, 30-year-old Jason Bultman from Oconomowoc was found unresponsive in a car parked in the 4000 block of N. 13th St.

Police say he had needles and heroin in his lap. His mother told investigators that Bultman began abusing prescription drugs when he was 15. He recently began using heroin and opiates, according to his mother.

In addition to those two cases, those who died this weekend were Anthony Cunningham, 59, Brian Ball Sr., 52, Ruben Velazquez III, 26, Alexander Stauder, 28, Phillip Graham, 63, and Jeffrey Crane, 47.

According to the medical examiner's office, Crane's death was a suicide. The other seven are considered accidental overdoses.

While none of the deaths from this weekend occurred in Brown Deer, police officers there did have to use CPR this weekend to revive someone who overdosed on drugs. That person reportedly survived.

Brown Deer officers are currently being trained by North Shore Fire to administer NARCAN, which can reverse the effects of an overdose.

Officer Michael Leeman recently had to perform CPR on a patient who overdosed on heroin.

"We are the first ones on scene so by us evaluating the situation, by us being able to administer it, we might be able to cut out 30 seconds, maybe a minute before North Shore gets there," he said. "So I think it will help."

Brown Deer Police said all of its officers should be trained by mid February.

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