Black River Falls Police are investigating two deaths that happened over the weekend.
Police said on Saturday, about 1:30 p.m., officers were called to an apartment complex at 214 Third Street. When officers arrived, they found Dustin Bahr, 28, of Black River Falls, deceased. Police said Bahr was out earlier that morning with a small group of friends and decided to sleep at the apartment where he was found. A preliminary autopsy report shows Bahr died of a drug overdose.
A second death was reported Sunday shortly after 1 p.m. Police said a family member called 911 after discovering the body of his relative Susan Blang, 49. The day before, police dealt with Blang regarding allegations of prescription drug abuse. Blang was transported to Black River Falls Memorial Hospital for a medical evaluation. She was treated and released. Police said foul play is not suspected, although an autopsy is underway to determine the cause of Blang's death.
“Since January 1st, the City Police have either investigated or offered assistance with the investigation of four separate drug related deaths in this community," said BRF Police Chief Patrick LaBarbera in a statement. "Furthermore, I know of at least three near death experiences related directly to the ingestion of drugs. I credit the City's fast acting EMS/Ambulance service with saving those lives. For a city this size, the amount of drug related deaths and near death experiences is nothing short of shocking.”
LaBarbera said to help combat the community drug abuse problem anyone who sees suspicious behavior and drug activity needs to contact law enforcement. LaBarbera added that anonymous reports of information are welcome to those who wish to remain unknown will also help in the effort.