Police: Drug-related death of 70-year-old woman is a homicide

Police: Drug-related death of 70-year-old woman is a homicide

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Police have ruled the drug-related death of a 70-year-old woman a homicide.

On July 13, police responded to a suspicious death on the 500 block of East Preston St.

A toxicology report completed on July 30 shows Gloria Johnson, who was found at the scene, had heroin and fentanyl in her system.

There were no obvious signs of trauma.

Officials called her death an unintentional "narcotic poisoning."

It was also ruled a homicide.

“The cause of death is always going to be a homicide when you have someone die in this manner,” said defense attorney Jeremy Eldridge, a partner at EN Law. “That’s not at all surprising because it’s not an accidental death.”

Eldridge said charging drug suppliers for the deaths of people using their drugs is a new phenomenon that's on the rise.

“This type of case doesn’t come across anyone’s desk frequently,” he said. “What we're seeing is the modernization of prosecution of these offenses to try and cause a deterrent within the drug trafficking community.”

Eldridge says there are specific laws regarding drug dealers and overdoses at the federal level, but in Maryland, it still just falls under the manslaughter umbrella.

Police have not released any information on a possible suspect at this time.

They would not confirm why this death has been ruled a homicide.

Several neighbors told FOX45 that they knew Gloria Johnson. They declined to go on camera, but multiple sources said they were aware of Johnson’s death and believed someone had been using with her. That person, they said, abandoned her when she died. This has not been confirmed by police. This is an ongoing investigation.

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