Police: 19-year-old men died of accidental overdose involving fentanyl

The deaths of 19-year-olds Gunner Bundrick, left, and Jake Morales have been ruled an accidental overdose of illicit drugs and fentanyl intoxication, according to a Yavapai County Medical Examiner report. Both men were 2017 graduates of Bradshaw Mountain High School, and heavily involved in athletics. (Courier file photos)

The deaths of 19-year-olds Gunner Bundrick, left, and Jake Morales have been ruled an accidental overdose of illicit drugs and fentanyl intoxication, according to a Yavapai County Medical Examiner report. Both men were 2017 graduates of Bradshaw Mountain High School, and heavily involved in athletics. (Courier file photos)

The deaths of 19-year-olds Gunner Bundrick and Jake Morales have been ruled an accidental overdose of illicit drugs and fentanyl intoxication, according to a Yavapai County Medical Examiner report obtained by The Daily Courier.

The two men were found unresponsive by a family member in the Bundrick family’s Prescott Valley home the morning of Saturday, Nov. 3. Central Arizona Fire & Medical Authority (CAFMA) paramedics responded to a 911 call at 11:15 a.m. and both men were pronounced deceased at the scene a few minutes later.

In an interview Thursday, Sgt. Jason Kaufman of the Prescott Valley Police Department (PVPD) said the investigation revealed that Bundrick and Morales left the home at 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, to attend a party, then returned at approximately 3:48 a.m. the morning of Nov. 3. The last either of the two men were seen alive was around 5 a.m.

According to Yavapai County Medical Examiner Ann L. Bucholtz’s report, both men died due to a combination of illicit drugs, fentanyl and 4-ANPP intoxication. The precursor chemical 4-ANPP is a primary ingredient for manufacturing deadly fentanyl.

Members of PVPD, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT), the Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office were a part of the investigation.

Bundrick and Morales were 2017 graduates of Bradshaw Mountain High School, and were involved heavily within the athletic community. Bundrick was captain of the Bears’ football and baseball teams as a senior. Both were attending Yavapai College and Bundrick was a member of the Roughrider baseball team last spring.

Recent Overdoses

According to PVPD, in the first half of 2018, there were 42 fatal overdoses related to drugs in Yavapai County. There were 49 in all of 2017.

In Yavapai County, the PANT taskforce reported a 42 percent increase in fentanyl related arrests and seizures compared to 2016 and 68 percent of PANT related arrests involving fentanyl were specifically mimic pills, which are pills labeled as a prescription drug to mask their illegal contents.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is news/sports editor for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network.

Yavapai County Overdose Fatality Review Board report

The Yavapai County Overdose Fatality Review Board has released a new community report. The Overdose Fatality Review Board (OFRB) was formed in August 2016 to address the opioid epidemic.

The community report outlines findings based on the review of 12 of the 41 total

accidental/undetermined drug overdose deaths that occurred in Yavapai County in 2017. The 12 deaths that were reviewed included four females and eight males between the ages of 22 and 61.

In the 12 deaths, the causes of death as listed by the Medical Examiner are as follows:

• 5 cases: Mixed drug intoxication

• 2 Cases: Mixed heroin and methamphetamine intoxication

• 1 case: Methamphetamine and ethanol Intoxication

• 1 case: Mixed drug (fentanyl) intoxication

• 1 case: Acute methamphetamine intoxication

• 1 case: Acute heroin intoxication

• 1 case: Mixed drug and ethanol intoxication.

Upon review it was found that 11 of the 12 individuals had a reported mental illness, six of the 12 individuals had spent time in prison, six of the 12 were unemployed at the time of death, three of the 12 were homeless and nine of the 12 had begun using alcohol and or marijuana at a very young age.

The goal of the Yavapai County Overdose Fatality Review Board is to prevent overdose deaths by identifying overdose trends in Yavapai County, identifying commonalities in overdose deaths, making recommendations based on OFRB findings and developing action steps that improve policies and programs to prevent overdose deaths.

Twenty-five separate organizations are represented on the Overdose Fatality Review Board including the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department, Yavapai County Attorney’s Office, Yavapai County Adult Probation, Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Yavapai County Community Health Services, Prescott Valley Police Department, Cottonwood Police Department, Prescott Police Department, Yavapai College Police Department, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, Southwest Behavioral Health, First Things First, Life Line Ambulance, MATFORCE and Yavapai County Superior Court.

The entire report is available at www.matforce.org.

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