Man hid evidence of teen’s fatal heroin overdose before getting help, police say
South Brunswick police have charged a 24-year-old man with obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence at a scene where a teenager died of a heroin overdose.
The charges stem from a four-month investigation into the August death of 19-year-old Talia Salzano, Chief Raymond Hayducka announced in a press release Monday.
According to police, on Aug. 15 at 1:26 p.m. police were called to Guzman’s Pear Street residence on a report of an unresponsive female. When they arrived, officers found Salzano's lifeless body in a bedroom of the home. Police say Guzman was unable to wake Salzano, but prior to contacting police, he cleaned the area, removing any evidence of drug use. In addition, the press release says the South Brunswick man also "provided false statements to police in the hours and days following Salzano’s death in order to impede the investigation."
"In addition, Guzman notified other people of the impending investigation in an attempt to thwart the investigation," police said.
An autopsy by the Medical Examiner's Office and several additional tests ruled Salzano's death to be accidental as a result of a heroin overdose.
“There are laws designed to protect those who call for assistance when someone is in distress. Our officers are equipped with medication to reverse the dangers of heroin. We have used the medication more then a dozen times to reverse the impact of heroin with success. In this case not only did the person not get help for his friend, he altered the scene and provided false information," Chief Hayducka said.
Guzman surrendered and posted $5,000 bail. According to authorities, he could face up to three years in jail if convicted of obstructing justice and tampering with evidence. Both are fourth degree indictable crimes.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.