Police Chief Paul Burkart believes it’s a possibility the man found dead in an alley last Wednesday was killed by fentanyl.
“At this point we are unsure if the death is related to fentanyl but the coroner’s service is investigating,” Burkart told the Star.
“It could be related — we just don’t know and people should not be assuming that. Unfortunately, now under these circumstances, it is a possibility.”
The man, who has not yet been identified by authorities, was reportedly drinking heavily for his birthday before he was found in an alley by an employee of a local business. According to Wait’s News owner Mari Plamondon, the man was a regular at her restaurant and was well-loved by his friends and family.
Everyone called him Jay.
“He would come in for breakfast pretty much every day and say ‘Hey Mari, how’s it going?’ and he was a part of our family,” Plamondon told the Star on Sunday, after a Baker St. memorial was set up for the young man, who is referred to as “Paul Jason K” on a piece of paper that accompanies a small vase of flowers on the sidewalk.
“It was noticeable on Thursday that someone had been lost. I really noticed how sad it was downtown. The community needs to know that this was a person, and his death matters.”
Plamondon said “many people don’t see street people as contributing members to society, so their deaths are not recognized the same way as someone who was, say, citizen of the year. We need to remember this was a father, somebody’s child, and he was our friend. We need to put a face and name on this, and remember him.”