A 16-year-old was also arrested for allegedly selling narcotics to a third high school student at a nearby park, and a 15-year-old was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter for allegedly selling a fentanyl-laced drug to two high school students, one of whom fatally overdosed.
On Wednesday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore confirmed that the suspects had been apprehended during the ongoing investigation into the incident that had occurred the previous Tuesday at Hollywood’s Bernstein High School.
The younger boy, who is being raised by his grandmother, is suspected of selling a pill that led to the overdose deaths of two Bernstein students, both of whom were 15 years old. It has been confirmed that 15-year-old Melanie Ramos, who was found unresponsive on the floor of a campus girls’ restroom, has been identified by her family as the victim.
Moore told reporters at a press conference that the 15-year-old boy will be charged with manslaughter. Upon his arrest, he was allegedly found to have more pills than initially reported.
The suspect, a 16-year-old on his way to school on Thursday morning, was apprehended. The chief stated that he would be booking the suspect on charges of narcotics distribution in the vicinity of Lexington Park.
Overdoses were suspected in at least two students on Tuesday night, according to authorities.
The LAPD has said that both suspects are students at APEX Academy on the Bernstein campus and that investigators have reason to believe they are close associates. Because they are so young, neither of them was named in any official capacity.
Apartments on Eleanor Avenue in Hollywood were searched by LAPD on Thursday morning as part of an ongoing investigation.
Around 8 o’clock PT on Tuesday, a man went to Bernstein High School at 1309 N. Wilton Place in search of his stepdaughter, who had failed to return home from school. That’s according to police and the Los Angeles Unified School District.
He reportedly discovered his stepdaughter in the midst of overdose symptoms, though she was conscious enough to tell him that she had seen one of her friends in the girls’ restroom. The man and a school employee discovered Ramos’s body in the ladies’ room.
Lt. John Radtke of the Los Angeles Police Department told reporters that the students went to the park and bought pills that they thought were the painkiller Percocet, but were actually laced with fentanyl.
After Ramos was discovered in the restroom, campus security called the Los Angeles Fire Department to the scene, but paramedics were unable to save her. The LAPD reports that the condition of the second 15-year-old girl who was taken to the hospital is stable and that she is expected to make a full recovery.
A little over a mile from the campus, at Lexington Park, is where investigators believe the victims bought the pills. Two other overdoses occurred in the park earlier in the day, according to the Fire Department.
An antidote called Narcan was administered at the scene, but one of the victims reportedly fled before authorities could identify them.
Meanwhile, in memory of Ramos, a memorial was built in front of Bernstein High School by his classmates and friends. Her relatives told Eyewitness News that she was a “innocent, easy, and outgoing” kid.
Ramos, a high school sophomore, wanted to join the United States Army.
Many parents are now questioning the school’s leadership after recent events.
Aunt Gladys Manriques questioned if the school had a regular procedure to ensure that no student was being ignored. “We believe that justice is necessary. It’s not right that whoever is poisoning our kids is still at large.”
The Los Angeles Police Department has reported an increase in overdoses and has pledged to track down the drug dealer responsible. On Wednesday, police will be present at the park at a higher level.
“The upbringing of every child is, in my opinion, everyone’s responsibility. Our children need to hear from their parents and teachers. We must join forces to warn the public about the dangers of this toxin “I quote Radtke:
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a health alert Thursday evening warning parents of fentanyl-laced pills in the area.
In Los Angeles County, “fentanyl and methamphetamine-related overdose deaths have increased even before the pandemic and continue to rise at an alarming rate,” the alert reads.
Fentanyl-tainted pills are common practice among drug dealers, according to authorities.
“This problem is widely recognized as a national epidemic. We cannot tolerate this “remarked LAUSD Chief Executive Officer Alberto Carvalho. “When it affects local youth, it becomes even more intolerable. Nothing can justify or be tolerated behavior like that.”