Orange Coast College
The Harbour residence hall

2 deaths at California residence hall suspected to be drug overdoses

Feb. 11, 2021
The bodies of an 18-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man were found in different units of a residence hall at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa

Two students found dead in separate parts of a residence hall at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif., may have been victims of drug overdoses, school officials say.

The Orange County Register reports that police summoned to The Harbour at Orange Coast College on Tuesday found the body of Amonie Palmer, 18, of Costa Mesa, police say.

The body of Robert Stell, 33, also of Costa Mesa, was found in a nearby unit of the building later that day. Authorities believe he died hours earlier.

Both cases were “suspected drug overdoses,” Orange Coast College President Angelica Suarez said in an e-mail to students.

It was not immediately clear if the two incidents were connected.

“Considering the potential cause of these tragic events, I urge you to stay away from illegal substances, the use of which can put you in extreme danger that can lead to death,” Suarez said. “If you have friends who are thinking about trying these kinds of drugs, please remind them of the dangers.”

Costa Mesa police investigators say both cases are unintentional deaths and were not conducting a criminal investigation.

The Harbour opened last year. Orange Coast College says it is one of the first Southern California community colleges to offer on-campus student housing.

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