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Oakdale Woman Faces Murder Charge After Scandia Man Overdoses

The case relates to the Aug. 1, 2012, methadone overdose of a Scandia man.

An Oakdale woman was charged with third-degree murder stemming from the August 2012 methadone overdose of a Scandia man.

Emily Katherine Frye, 21, provided Frank Eck, of Scandia, with the drugs that killed him, according to a release from the Washington County Attorney’s Office.

Eck, 23, died of “acute methadone toxicity,” the release says.

“We have had a rash of overdose deaths, not just in Washington County, but all through the metro area in the last year and a half,” Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a statement. “People need to be aware that providing another person with a controlled substance can make them responsible for whatever may happen to the person receiving that drug, including the death of that person.”

Eck and Frye were in touch via text message and she agreed to meet Eck in Oakdale and sell him methadone pills, according to the criminal complaint.

Later, after the deal was done and Frye was made aware that the victim had died of an overdose she told authorities, “I knew I shouldn’t have sold him those methadone,” according to the release.

“My office is bound and determined to go after bona fide drug dealers as aggressively as we can. The victim in this case had an addiction problem and was vulnerable as a result. The blame for his death, however, lies squarely at the feet of the drug dealer, and that is where our attention will be focused,” Orput said. “Our thanks go out to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for their doggedness in putting together this investigation.”

If convicted, Frye faces a 10-15 years in prison.

Dr. Lou Saeger January 12, 2013 at 04:57 PM
One of the unintended consequences of cost-containment in the arena of pain management has been a push by third-party payers to use less expensive alternatives to controlled release medications such as OxyContin. Methadone has thus been much more widely prescribed, and not unexpectedly, diverted to the illicit market. It doesn't produce the "high" of other opioids, but has potent, delayed long-lasting effects of respiratory depression, and potentially heart-stopping arrythmias. Users don't realize they've OD'd till it's too late. Thus, another sad example in the epidemic of methadone-related deaths.

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