St Louis News

Woman charged with Central West End overdose deaths

For the first time on record the odds of accidentally dying from an opioid overdose in the United States are now greater than those of dying in an automobile accident.

ST. LOUIS – Federal prosecutors charged a St. Louis woman Tuesday with drug distribution in connection with a series of recent overdose deaths at a Central West End apartment building.

The overdoses happened Saturday, Feb. 5, between 3:19 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Parkview Apartments in the 4400 block of Forest Park Avenue. In all, nine people between the ages of 40 and into their 60s overdosed; seven of those individuals died as a result.

According to court records, Chuny Ann Reed lived in the apartment building. Prosecutors allege she sold cocaine, crack cocaine, and fentanyl from her residence.

One of the overdose survivors told authorities they bought crack cocaine from Reed on February 5. The person ingested the drug and immediately suffered an overdose. An acquaintance happened to be with the overdose victim at the time and called 911 for help.

Police reviewed surveillance video from the apartment complex, which reportedly shows one of the overdose victims going into Reed’s apartment just hours before his death.

Prosecutors claim Reed told police she sells drugs to her neighbors to support her own addiction and that the cocaine she had purchased may have been laced with fentanyl.

Reed was charged Tuesday with the distribution of cocaine base and fentanyl. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Investigators said they’re awaiting autopsies to confirm the exact cause of death but they’re concerned there could be more victims.

According to St. Louis police, a total of 1,168 overdoses have been reported in the city over the past three years; 352 occurred in 2021 and 441 happened in 2020.

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