Police investigating fatal overdose as possible drug-induced homicide

Police are investigating the circumstances of a fatal overdose as a possible drug-induced homicide, according to court documents.

James Serrano, 37, of Granite City, was found dead on the back porch of a residence on Pershing Boulevard on Nov. 17. He was taken to Gateway Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy concluded that there were no obvious signs of injury or apparent manner of death. Toxicology results are pending.

A man and a woman also were present at the house, according to an affidavit provided by Granite City Police Detective Adam Connor. The woman was also treated for a possible overdose, and her cell phone was secured as evidence.

According to the affidavit, she told an officer that she went to Missouri to acquire fentanyl from a person named “O” and gave it to Serrano. When Serrano collapsed, the man said that the woman allegedly attempted CPR and searched for her keys for about 25 minutes before asking him to call 911, according to the affidavit.

Police filed for a search warrant to receive data from the woman’s cell phone. The affidavit also stated they found narcotics and hypodermic syringes in the car the woman was using.

Fentanyl is a heavy-duty narcotic painkiller often prescribed for end-stage cancer patients, and has been linked with many fatal overdose cases alone or mixed with heroin.

No charges had been filed in the case as of Monday.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald