Concerns grow over overdoses after music festival dies

Marcy Rodriguez of Montebello is trying to put things back together after losing her 27-year-old son, Eli, just days ago.

Eli attended “Nocturnal Wonderland” in San Bernardino, a concert festival billed as “the best electronic dance music, camping and arts festival in Southern California”.

At some point during the festival, Eli ingested an unknown type of drug. He overdosed and died at the scene.

Given the circumstances, his mother believes Eli died of fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is found in all sorts of drugs, usually in additive form, with fatal consequences in many cases.

“Whatever…it was a drug.” It’s against the law,” Rodriguez said. “These festivals allow it in the open air and our children die there.”

Rodriguez said she wasn’t even allowed to see her son’s body because doctors feared whatever killed him could poison or infect her if she got too close.

Fentanyl appears to be exploding on the black market and Eli’s death follows what investigators believe to be the fentanyl-related deaths of two teenage girls.

Melanie Ramos, 15, overdosed on the campus of Bernstein High School in Hollywood and family members said Luna Hinojosa, 14, died of a fentanyl-containing drug in La Puente.

Although her pain and agony are unimaginable, Rodriguez is as determined and strong as she suffers.

“Our adult children, our young children are falling faster than the leaves on the tree,” Rodriguez said. “We need all of us to come together and fight this war – this war on drugs.”

Gerald R. Schneider