Boy, 15, died of narcotics overdose, state medical examiner's office rules

January 16, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Westminster teen-ager who was found dead at home last week died of an overdose of narcotics, probably heroin, Westminster police said yesterday.

A state medical examiner has determined the cause of death of Liam A. O'Hara, 15, as "narcotic intoxication -- heroin," police said. The boy's father found him about 7: 30 a.m. Jan. 9.

State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes said the medical examiner would perform further toxicology tests to determine with certainty that the narcotic was heroin.

Michael O'Hara, father of the Westminster High School sophomore, said yesterday that he and his family would do whatever they could to cooperate with the police investigation.

O'Hara said the family wants to work with schools and community organizations, speaking and giving interviews to help other teen-agers and their parents avoid such a tragedy. He said he didn't know what the opportunities or needs are, but he wants to help others in the community.

"We had absolutely no clue about [heroin involvement]," he said. "We knew there was pot [marijuana] out there, but never ever suspected heroin."

Barnes said his office is working with Westminster police in a criminal investigation of the death. A final toxicology report is expected in one to three weeks, he said.

Pub Date: 1/16/98

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