Four people were charged Thursday in the deaths of two young people in Mankato, apparently from ingesting a synthetic drug last week.
The three adults and a 15-year-old boy allegedly committed “various controlled substance violations” in connection with the deaths of Louis N. Folson-Hart, 22, of Mankato, and Chloe L. Moses, 17, a student at Mankato West High School, according to police.
Charged were: Tyler A. Caputo, 21; James L. Inman, 30; Skylar Jo Reichel-Schneider, 19; and an unidentified 15-year-old boy. All are from Mankato.
The arrests came late Tuesday and early Wednesday, said Police Cmdr. Daniel Schisel. The adults were being held in the Blue Earth County jail, while the teen was being detained in the Carver County juvenile detention center. Schisel said more arrests are possible.
When police on Wednesday revealed the two deaths, they cautioned that homicide charges are possible against those who provide the drugs in these types of cases.
In this investigation, Caputo and Reichel-Schneider, who live together, were each charged with three felony counts of selling drugs and gross-misdemeanor child endangerment for allowing a toddler in the home to be present around illicit drugs. Inman was charged with one felony count of selling drugs. The allegations against the 15-year-old were not disclosed.
Police said that officers recovered similar blue baggies covered with images of gold-colored crowns at each Mankato residence where the two fell ill. Investigators believe the baggies may have contained a substance in a pill or powder form, possibly synthetic LSD, commonly called 2-C.
On the afternoon of March 5, police and other emergency personnel were called to a residence in the 100 block of Glenwood Avenue. Folson-Hart was found not breathing. He was taken by ambulance from his apartment to a hospital and died.
Saturday morning, about a mile away on E. Pleasant Street, Moses suffered a seizure at home and was taken off life support Monday at a Minneapolis hospital.
Police said they are concerned that more of this deadly substance is still available to the public, though they have yet to hear of any additional cases.
According to the criminal complaints against the adults:
Moses’ boyfriend told investigators that the two of them obtained the drug from the accused 15-year-old and both ingested it. Authorities searched the teen’s home and found pill-style capsules and baggies with a crown design.
Inman told officers that he provided Folson-Hart with the same or similar substance and that he obtained it from Caputo on March 1.
Investigators searched the “cluttered and filthy” home where Caputo and Reichel-Schneider live and discovered a substantial amount of drugs and various paraphernalia, including a half-ounce of marijuana in a jar next to baby food. Also seized: powder in baggies with either “2CE” or “2CI” written on them, numerous glass pipes, a pill crusher with residue, digital scales and psychedelic mushrooms.
Designer synthetics have claimed several other lives in Minnesota.
Three years ago in Blaine, 11 teens and young adults were rushed to hospitals after snorting a synthetic drug called 2C-E. Trevor Robinson, 19, died after doctors removed him from life support. His friend Timothy LaMere pleaded guilty to supplying the substance, which he bought online, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Folson-Hart, who graduated from Mankato East High School, was intending to enter Minnesota State University, Mankato, to study music, his mother said.
Mankato School District Superintendent Sheri Allen said that Moses was a very good student and was known as an artist.