By JAMES BELL
Two Hays residents remain jailed following the execution of a search warrant issued in relation to a death in Hays in February.
At 6:35 p.m. Feb. 26, Hays Police Department officers were dispatched to the 200 block of West Fourth on the report of an unresponsive female, according to Hays Police Department Chief Don Scheibler.
“Officers arrived and lifesaving efforts were attempted, but it was determined that female had passed,” Scheibler said.
The Ellis County Coroner was notified, and the department initiated an investigation.
“The investigation revealed that the likely cause of death was the victim had ingested fentanyl,” Scheibler said.
The most likely source was a counterfeit Oxycodone tablet, he said.
On March 2, members of the department and the Ellis County Drug Enforcement Unit served a search warrant at an apartment in the 2800 block of Grant Avenue.
“During the search, pills consistent with the pills found at the death scene we're located,” Scheibler said.
Based on the investigation, Kimberly Beth Schmeidler, 48, Hays, was arrested on suspicion of distribution of a controlled substance causing death, use of a communication facility in the commission of a felony drug violation, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute an opiate and possession with intent to distribute a narcotic drug, Scheibler said.
Brandon Joseph Kahrs, 36, Hays, was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to use an opiate, possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia and possession to distribute an opiate.
“Both are still in the Ellis County jail and are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” Scheibler said.
He said they appreciate the cooperation of the coroner's office, the Ellis County Drug Enforcement Unit, initial responding officers and the work of the Investigation Division of the Hays Police Department.
“The reality of it is these drugs are in Hays, Kansas,” Scheibler said. “Parents need to be having a conversation with their children right now. They can't take pills, can’t smoke pills, can’t ingest them if they don't get them from the doctor. People are dying in our community from drug overdoses.
“It is going to continue to be a priority for us, and those that sell drugs that kill people most definitely will be a priority for us. We are going to continue to focus on these people and hold them accountable.”