UPDATE: Victim ID’d as drug detectives scramble to explain rash of drug overdoses

Deputies inside two sheriff's patrol vehicles wait for investigators and homicide officials outside a restroom at Bouquet Canyon Park in Saugus on April 23, 2017. (Austin Dave/The Signal)

A rash of recent reported drug overdose cases across the Santa Clarita Valley including that of a young man found dead of an apparent overdose in the restroom at Bouquet Canyon Park Sunday have local drug detectives scrambling today for answers.

As detective work gets underway, officials with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department identified the young man found Sunday of an apparent overdose as 28-year-old David Alexander Esquivel, of Castaic.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, but as yet no official cause or manner of death has been determined, a Coroner’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Esquivel would have turned 29 this Friday.

“We don’t know what we’re looking at,” Narcotics Detective Bill Velek of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station’s J Team told The Signal Tuesday when asked about the recent cases.

Just 18 hours after paramedics rushed to Bouquet Canyon Park for a young man found dead in the restroom, they were dispatched to a similar call involving a young man found alive in the restroom of the Starbucks of Urban Home near the Valencia Westfield Town Center mall.

When asked about the two bathroom cases and about eight other unconfirmed cases in the last 24 hours, Velek said he’s been getting the same information.

“I’ve been asking the same questions,” Velek said. “Right now, I don’t know what we’re dealing with.

“Are these connected or are they coincidence? I’m looking at everything,” he said.

Sheriff’s officials are preparing a public service announcement regarding the rash of drug overdoses once they have more information.

Velek and his team are investigating both the Bouquet Canyon Park death and the life-threatening overdose incident near the mall, and others.

Paramedics were dispatched Sunday at 7:40 p.m. to reports of a cardiac arrest inside the bathroom at Bouquet Canyon Park, at the end of Wellston Drive, north of Altena Drive.

They arrived at the park shortly after 7:45 p.m., however, the young man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m. Monday, emergency response crews were called to a similar emergency call involving another young man who apparently suffered an overdose in a bathroom.

Paramedics were dispatched to the bathroom at a Starbucks located outside the Valencia Westfield Town Center mall on Town Center Drive shortly after 3:30 p.m. Monday for reports of an overdose, a Fire Department spokesman said.

“A young male adult overdosed inside the bathroom of the location at 24250 block of Town Center Drive,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said.

“There was a 9-1-1 call, sheriff’s deputies and paramedics responded, paramedics revived the male adult and he was transported to a local hospital,” she said.

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