Mankato police link designer drug to 2 deaths

Mankato police say a synthetic in blue bags with crowns may have killed teen and 22-year-old. They worry more is on the streets.

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Police in Mankato are looking for this type of packaging, which contains a designer drug suspected in two deaths last week. provided by mankato police

Photo: Provided by Mankato police,

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A synthetic drug, possibly designed to mimic cocaine or LSD, is suspected of contributing to the deaths of a teenage girl and a young man in Mankato last week at separate homes, and authorities are worried there is “more of this potentially deadly substance out there.”

Officers at each residence where the two fell ill recovered similar blue baggies covered with images of gold-colored crowns, police said in a statement Tuesday night.

“Investigators believe that these baggies may have contained a substance in a pill or powder form, possibly synthetic LSD or synthetic cocaine, commonly called 2-C,” the statement said. “There is concern that there may be more of this potentially deadly substance out there.”

The victims were identified by police as Louis N. Folson-Hart, 22, of Mankato, and Chloe L. Moses, 17, a student at Mankato West High School.

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, police said. He was taken by ambulance from his apartment to a hospital and died.

“It was so senseless what my son went through,” said Marlis Folson, who just returned from her son’s memorial ceremony near Siren, Wis. “Police explained that it was C-2 that he had ingested. Someone gave him the pill.”

Folson said that a longtime friend of Folson-Hart’s was with him in his final moments.

“Within 4 minutes of [talking the pill], Louie started saying, ‘Oh, my God, oh, my God,’ ” Folson recounted.

The friend responded, “ ‘Throw it up, throw it up,’ ” Folson continued.

“He smoked weed,” the mother said. “I don’t know what possessed him to do this. It’s just so senseless to me.”

The morning of March 8, the script played out again, this time about a mile away on E. Pleasant Street, police said. Moses was having a seizure while home alone, and she too was taken by ambulance to a hospital. She was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis, where she died.

An e-mail from Mankato West administration to families said that Moses was removed from life support about 4:10 p.m. Monday.

Russian roulette

Authorities in Mankato are not aware of any other cases lately of people being stricken from the substance connected to these two deaths, police Cmdr. Daniel Schisel said.

State authorities haven’t seen problems associated with a blue bag with crown emblems, either. A website appears to sell 100 of the empty bags for $15.

State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Assistant Superintendent Drew Evans warned that officials can’t know for sure what the substance found in Mankato is until it is tested.

A range of new synthetic designer drugs began showing up in increasing numbers at the beginning of the decade. The number of items submitted to the state lab that tested positive for such substances rose from 359 in 2011 to 456 last year.

“Certainly it’s not going away by any means,” Evans said.

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