Police are investigating the death of a Concord teen who took a pill believed to be laced with fentanyl.
A cause of death has not been determined, but there are indications that 14-year-old Valentina Langhammer may have ingested a pill and overdosed, Concord police said in a statement on Facebook. A photo of a pill similar to the medication being investigated was also posted.
The teen, a student at Concord High School, died at home on Saturday, police said.
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"We want the community to respect the privacy of the family during this difficult time, but also want to make the public aware," police said. "We do not know if there are other pills circulating in the school or community but want parents and students to be cautious."
Her parents said the teen texted her friends on Friday night, saying some kids at school had given her a pill, and she was wondering if she should take it.
"And the kids think it’s only for relaxing but later, it’s dead, it’s gone, it’s finished you know?" said her mother Viviana Arenas.
Valentina loved dirt biking, hiking, the outdoors and adventure.
“It’s really hard to say bye to her, to say good night and wake up the next day and see her laying down on the ground with the blood in her pillow. I tried to wake her up, and she’s dead,” said her father Walter Langhammer.
Recovery advocate Tom Wolf says these young people aren’t overdosing, they’re dying of fentanyl poisoning.
“Their child is buying what they thought was an Oxycodone pill or Xanax off of social media and that Xanax or pill was actually counterfeit and was only fentanyl or laced with illicit fentanyl, and they overdose and die,” he said.
Police urged residents to only take pills and medications prescribed by their doctor.
"There are incidents happening in many communities where pills are counterfeited and laced with other toxic substances, such as fentanyl, which could be lethal, even in small doses," Concord police said in the Facebook post.
The Mt. Diablo Unified School District sent a message to parents and said counselors were on hand at Concord High and throughout the district to help students.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of a 14-year-old child who was a freshman at Concord High School," Superintendent Adam Clark said. "Mt. Diablo Unified School District employees and stakeholders mourn this tragic loss. We send our heartfelt condolences to the family and all those who knew the student. There are counselors at Concord High and throughout the District who can respond to students, employees or families who need support. We want to respect the privacy of the family during this difficult time. The Concord Police Department is investigating this tragedy."
Anyone with information on the investigation is asked to call Concord police Detective Cartwright at (925) 603-5829 or the department's anonymous tip line at (925) 603-5836, referencing case #21-8159.