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13-year-old's fatal heroin overdose at center of investigation

August 10, 2012 |  8:50 am


[Updated, 3:07 p.m. Aug. 10:  The LAPD reported earlier Friday that it appeared the 13-year-old boy mentioned in this post had voluntarily given himself a fatal dose of heroin. Police officials are now retracting that statement, and say they believe a suspect taken into custody Thursday injected the fatal heroin dose. That man has now been charged with murder. For an update on this story, see a newer post: Man charged with murder in heroin death of 13-year-old boy.]

This post has been updated, as indicated above.

A day after a man was arrested on suspicion of murder for allegedly injecting a 13-year-old boy with a fatal dose of heroin, Los Angeles police investigators said Friday that they now believe the boy may have administered the drug himself.

LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said that after the initial arrest detectives gathered information that the boy voluntarily injected himself with the deadly dose of the narcotic.

Brett Cronin, 23, was taken into custody Thursday after he allegedly purchased the heroin and injected himself. He was initially accused of then injecting his younger brother's friend, who was at a sleepover at the Woodland Hills home in the 5300 block of Manton Avenue.

Detectives said Cronin called the Los Angeles Fire Department eight hours after the boy took the heroin and suffered convulsions.

When Fire Department crews arrived around 9:10 a.m. Thursday, officials said, the boy was in a bedroom and was unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead.

Cronin's family was at the home during the incident, Herrera said, apparently unaware of what had happened.

Cronin remains behind bars, held on $1 million bail.


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