Drug concoction investigated in Lamar Co. teen's death - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Drug concoction investigated in Lamar Co. teen's death

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Ryan Lovick, a former baseball player at Lamar High School, died last Thursday. Ryan Lovick, a former baseball player at Lamar High School, died last Thursday.
Authorities allege Ryan Lovick was abandoned by 21-year-old Katherine Norden, 19-year-old Jessica Casteel and 21-year-old Elbert Horton. (Photo courtesy Barnesville Dispatch) Authorities allege Ryan Lovick was abandoned by 21-year-old Katherine Norden, 19-year-old Jessica Casteel and 21-year-old Elbert Horton. (Photo courtesy Barnesville Dispatch)
LAMAR COUNTY, Ga. -

A new dangerous drug could be a contributing factor in the death of a 19-year-old man in Lamar County.

The Lamar County Sheriff's Office says they're investigating whether a codeine syrup concoction, known as "lean," may have played a part in the death of Ryan Lovick.

Investigators say Lovick died last Wednesday in the home he shares with his mother. They say she discovered him unresponsive in his bedroom.

Authorities allege Ryan Lovick was abandoned by 21-year-old Katherine Norden, 19-year-old Jessica Casteel and 21-year-old Elbert Horton.

"What they stated was he was cold to the touch and they didn't call any emergency services, did not call 911. They left the house, the residence, and went on about their daily activities," said Captain Todd Pippen of the Lamar County Sheriff's Office.

Pippen said that three posted a $2,000 bond after investigators charged them last Thursday with abandonment of a dead body.

FOX 5 could not reach Lovick and Horton; Norden had no comment.

Pippen says a toxicology report should determine the exact cause of death. That report should be released next week. Pippen says that a contributing factor is believed to be lean, which is a mixture containing Promethazen, codeine syrup and another beverage.

Pippen says all three suspects told investigators about their partying with Ryan Lovick late Tuesday night shortly before his death.

"There was the mention…that the victim had ingested lean," Pippen said. "You just don't abandon and leave him there."

Promethazene is often used as a sedative in pre-surgery or used to treat motion sickness.

Pippen says the district attorney will present the case to the grand jury with the recommendation that charges be upgraded to concealment of a body, which carries a stiffer sentence than the current charge.

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