WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Officials with the Wichita Falls Police Department on Thursday provided an update on an ongoing investigation into a fatal fentanyl overdose that recently claimed the life of a teenager in Wichita Falls.

WFPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Charlie Eipper spoke with the KFDX Newsroom on Thursday afternoon, September 22, 2022, and provided an update on the investigation into the fentanyl-related death of 13-year-old Kaysen Villareal and to address questions and comments they’ve received from concerned parents in Wichita Falls.

Villarreal is one of three people, all under the age of 22, who police believe died from fentanyl overdoses over the weekend of September 17 and 18. Police estimate the three most recent fentanyl-related fatalities are among 18 fentanyl-related deaths in Wichita Falls so far in 2022.

On Wednesday, September 21, KFDX Reporter Kaylin McGlothen spoke with Villareal’s mother, Brandi Melo, who said one story she had been told about her son’s death is that he was forced to take fentanyl, that he vomited the pill back up, then he was beaten and forced to take it again.

According to Sgt. Eipper, the WFPD has received a number of calls from concerned parents and citizens of Wichita Falls expressing concerns that Villareal was forced to take fentanyl as some sort of initiation.

Sgt. Eipper told our newsroom that after speaking with WFPD detectives from the Crimes Against Persons Unit, their investigation into Villareal’s death thus far does not indicate he was forced to take fentanyl or that it was some sort of initiation for him to take fentanyl.

Authorities have not yet made an arrest related to the three most recent fentanyl-related deaths, but Sgt. Eipper said their investigation is ongoing.

In the past month, authorities have arrested three people and charged them with murder for their roles in earlier fentanyl-related deaths in Wichita Falls. County leaders said they will use every tool at their disposal to prosecute dealers and those who provide fentanyl that leads to an overdose death.

This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates on the investigation into fentanyl-related deaths in Wichita Falls as more information becomes available.

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