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11 deaths in Milwaukee Co. during Mother’s Day weekend; 5 of them overdoses — in less than 24 hours

MILWAUKEE — It was a very busy Mother’s Day weekend for the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. On Monday, May 14 the medical examiner tweeted that they’re handling 11 death investigations from over the weekend:

  • Six probable overdose deaths (five on Saturday, May 12 alone)
  • Two homicides
  • Two fatal fire victims
  • One motor vehicle fatality

Five of the six probable overdose deaths happened in less than 24 hours Saturday. Among those suspected overdose deaths are:

  • 2:22 a.m. — 75th and Kearney in Milwaukee — Steven Vasas, 33: Medical examiner’s report said Vasas, who had substance abuse (heroin) issues, was found unresponsive on the kitchen floor by his girlfriend.
  • 3:59 a.m. — 18th and Rawson in South Milwaukee — Alexander Jonic, 55: Medical examiner’s report said he died at his residence after snorting suspected heroin.
  • 8:33 p.m. — 108th and Cleveland in West Allis — Nicole Kestelik, 36: Medical examiner’s report said Kestelik was found unresponsive in a friend’s bathroom, and drug paraphernalia was present.
  • 10:33 p.m. — Weil and Auer in Milwaukee — Fernando Gonzalez, 38: Medical examiner’s report said Gonzalez, who had a history of IV drug abuse, died at his home with a syringe underneath him.
  • Sunday — 15th and Orchard — Cesar Gonzalez, 37: Medical examiner’s report said he died of an apparent overdose in his residence, and a second individual was revived with Narcan on scene.

The medical examiner said four deaths in one day “is an unusual amount” and “the numbers are trending similar to last year, which saw an all-time high of 401 overdose deaths.”

A flower bouquet brightened the steps of a home near 25th and Mitchell — where Jessey Diaz and Donald McGregor said Monday, May 14 they were honoring their former roommate.

“He talked to me quite a bit and I figured he was on the right track. He was a good guy. He was willing to learn,” said McGregor.

The medical examiner said the 38-year-old man died of a suspected overdose when Diaz found him slumped over on Saturday afternoon.

“I went into his room, did his pulse. It was cold. I’m still kind of shocked. I never experienced a dead body in a house. He was a good friend. I love him,” said Diaz.

Sara Schreiber

“Finding five on Saturday and one (Sunday) is kind of a monumental number for us so far at least this year,” said Sara Schreiber with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Autopsies were being performed on all 11 bodies to determine an official cause of death and possible connection as it relates to the overdose deaths.

“It certainly could mean that there is an interesting substance, something new, something potent in the area and many people were exposed to it,” said Schreiber.

One of the two homicides happened Saturday around 4:30 p.m. near Palmetto and Grantosa.

Triple shooting on West Palmetto Avenue

Triple shooting on West Palmetto Avenue

Police said Alfonzie Cockroft, 32, died at the scene. Two others, both 20-year-old men, suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening. Police said they’re being considered potential suspects and they remained in police custody as of Monday.

Police said this shooting may have stemmed from a drug transaction. An investigation is ongoing.

The second homicide was announced Monday, when it was revealed that Anny Carrasquillo, 36, died from injuries suffered in a shooting near 13th and Becher on Saturday around 2:15 a.m.

Shooting near 13th and Becher

Shooting near 13th and Becher

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

The fire victims died early Monday, after firefighters were called to a home near 25th and Melvina just after 3 a.m. The medical examiner confirmed with FOX6 that both residents died at the scene before 5 a.m.

25th and Melvina fire

25th and Melvina fire

The fatal crash happened early Sunday, May 13, around 1:40 a.m. near Sherman and Derby. Police said a vehicle struck a tree, and the driver, a 39-year-old man, died at the scene.

He was the only occupant of his vehicle. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Man, 39, dies after car crashes into tree near Sherman and Derby

Man, 39, dies after car crashes into tree near Sherman and Derby