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Illinois authorities probe 7 overdose cases that killed 2

January 16, 2022 GMT

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in northeastern Illinois are investigating seven fentanyl overdose cases over 24 hours that left two people dead.

The Kankakee Police Department and Kankakee County Coroner’s Office said the two victims who died were a 20-year-old female and 37-year-old male, both of Kankakee, according to The (Kankakee) Daily Journal. Kankakee is roughly 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) from Chicago.

Authorities did not have the conditions of the other five people. All seven people had fentanyl in their systems. Fentanyl is a cheap and potent opioid that has fueled overdose deaths around the country.

“This is the first time we’ve had several cases in a short period of time,” Coroner Bob Gessner said. “I have been concerned about this happening here for a long time.

Police say it appeared the individuals had been together Thursday. Several calls came to authorities on Friday reporting the overdoses.

Gessner said there have been six overdose deaths in the county since the start of the year.