Toxicology report reveals numerous drugs in deceased Spearfish man

June 9, 2018 GMT

DEADWOOD – Numerous types of drugs were found in the system of a deceased Spearfish man who went missing from Deadwood Jan. 16 and whose body was found in a remote area near The Lodge at Deadwood April 11.

Police Chief Kelly Fuller released results of the final autopsy report for 28-year-old Christopher Oien of Spearfish Friday morning.

“Autopsy examination, scene investigation, and toxicology studies reveal the cause of death to be compatible with hypothermia,” Fuller said. “Extensive toxicology studies were undertaken and reveal the presence of methamphetamine and its metabolite amphetamine. Toxicology studies also reveal the presence of marijuana metabolite and dextromethorphan. The substances may have contributed to Oien’s state of mind, as reported to police prior to his disappearance.”

Dextromethorphan is found in cough suppressants and many over-the-counter common cough and cold medicines.

ADVERTISEMENT

Investigators and autopsy findings found no evidence of external trauma to Oien.

Based on these facts, officials have ruled the cause of death to be hypothermia due to exposure.

“The investigation has been closed on the matter,” Fuller said.

The autopsy report was supplied by Clinical Laboratory of the Black Hills.

For three months, Oien was the focus of an intensive search in the Black Hills area after he left his Deadwood hotel room in the middle of the night and was last spotted heading into the Burnham Hill area. He was in town for a hotel stay, and the last time he was seen alive was on video tape in Deadwood at approximately 1:44 a.m. Jan. 15.

Oien was later captured on a Deadwood Welcome Center parking lot camera going through the parking lot on the opposite side of the street from the former Four Aces, making his way up Volin Street toward Williams Street.

The Brown Rocks area and Burnham Hill area were then the focus of an intensive search to locate Oien, which included canine, horseback, drone, and other searches.

Oien’s body was found at approximately 6:15 p.m. April 11 in a remote area one-quarter mile southwest of The Lodge by a subject who was searching for deer shed antlers.

To read all of today’s stories, Click here or call 642-2761 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery.