KONAWA — Authorities are awaiting a medical examiner's report to determine whether the unexplained death of a 29-year-old man may be linked to the same “designer drug” that killed one person and sickened several others at a party.
Jeffery Walls, a resident of Roff, was found dead in that small southern Oklahoma town Saturday, the same day people were overcome by the drug 2C-E at a party in Konawa, about 30 miles to the north.
There were no indications that Walls was at the party, said Pontotoc County District Attorney Chris Ross. Tests will determine whether drugs were in his system. Walls had a criminal record that included a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
Anastasia Marie Jewell, 22, of Ada, who was at the party, died after taking the drug, officials said.
State medical examiner spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard said cause of death is pending for Jewell and Walls. She said it could take as long as six weeks to obtain toxicology results.
Cody Weddle, 20, of Ada, was arrested Saturday. Investigators think he purchased the drug from an online company, www.chemicology.net. A notice posted on its website Tuesday said the business would be closed.
“Due to customer abuse and moral obligation, chemicology.net will be closing,” the announcement states. “Once our stock is depleted, we no longer intend to resupply.”
The website did not list a phone number.
Ross said the Roff Police Department is handling the investigation of Walls' death. A dispatcher said the police department would have no comment because the case is under investigation.
Lida Beckman, Jewell's mother, said her daughter was an art major at East Central University. She took her final exams on Thursday.
“My daughter is the last person I thought this would happen to,” Beckman said.
Beckman said she threw some clothing in a bag and drove the 700 miles from her home in Alabama after her son called her Saturday, screaming into the phone, “Stacy is dead — Stacy is dead.”
“She was a good daughter,” Beckman said. “We are a close family.”
Andrew Akerman and Madison Wolf, who were among those taken to the hospital after being sickened at the party, also are East Central University students, the school confirmed. Akerman remained in critical condition Tuesday. Beckman said her daughter and Akerman were in a relationship. Wolf remained in fair condition.
Also in the hospital on Tuesday were Garrett Minitre, listed in serious condition, and Erik Michelsen Jr., in good condition.
According to an affidavit filed Monday by the district attorney's office, Weddle, Jewell and Akerman diluted the 2C-E with water at Jewell's residence on Friday. Weddle told investigators he then returned to his own residence, and Jewell and Akerman left to take some of the diluted drug to the party to sell.
The solution was supposed to be further diluted before it was sold, Weddle told investigators.