WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As a mother deals with the unexpected death of her 13-year-old from a suspected Fentanyl overdose, she is shedding light on how her son possibly got ahold of the lethal drug in the first place.
Kaysen Villarreal is one of three people, all under the age of 22, who police believe died from fentanyl overdoses in one weekend from September 17 and 18.
KFDX reporter Kaylin McGlothen sat down with Kaysen’s mother and older brother, Jason, who said this drug has torn their family apart.
According to officials, most people are unaware that the pill they are taking contains Fentanyl. Illegal drug suppliers are producing counterfeit pills, most often Percocet, laced with unmeasured and lethal amounts of Fentanyl. It is because of this drug, that people often don’t even know they’re taking, that this mother and many others are living their worst nightmare.
“He was just beginning his life,” Brandi Melo, Kaysen’s mother said. “He was going to be 14 on October 7th. He doesn’t have that chance now, he was robbed of it.”
Saturday night, Kaysen Villarreal went to a friend’s house, and the last time his family heard from him was around 11 that night.
The way Brandi found out about her son’s death is every mother’s worst nightmare.
Kaysen’s 15-year-old brother Jason Villarreal received a phone call, saying an image of his brother lying on the floor, presumably deceased, was being sent around on the social media app, Snapchat.
“Saturday night was the last time I talked to him, about 11 o’clock Saturday night, and then we get a screenshot of a Snapchat with my son’s body laying on the floor, Melo said.
Kaysen was an Olney Junior High Student. His family members said he was a student-athlete with a bright soul.
“That was the only person I had, we were always there for each other,” Jason Villarreal said.
The Drug Enforcement Agency said Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat the country has ever encountered. It is a synthetic opioid 50-100 times more potent than morphine. A lot of times, this drug is used to lace other opioids like Percocet.
One rumor suggests Kaysen was forced to take a pill, another rumor is that it was given to him as a “pill for headaches.”
“There’ve been different stories that they told him it was a headache pill, then there was another story saying that they forced him to take it,” Melo said. “He got sick and threw it up, and then they beat him and made him take it again.”
Wichita Falls Police Sargent Charlie Eipper said that he could not comment on details of the ongoing investigation.
WFPD has recently arrested and charged three people in other Fentanyl related deaths in Wichita Falls.
Police were not called to the crime scene until around 11:30 Sunday morning. Brandi arrived at the location shortly after and, her world will never be the same.
“All I know is my baby laid dead on that floor with people walking around him and didn’t call out for help,” Mello said.
Brandi said the best way to prevent this from happening to someone else is to become educated.
“I’m not very educated on it, but a lot of us parents out here are not very educated on it, and especially not to know that you can just barely touch it, and it can end your life that quick,” Mello said. “Don’t take nothing from nobody, not even your friends.”
Because of Fentanyl, Brandi lost a child and Jason lost his brother. This is just one example of how dangerous this drug is.
The family has put together a GoFundMe to cover funeral costs.