'No link' between Essex drug deaths

Cian Daly Image copyright Essex Police/BBC
Image caption Cian Daly's death was investigated in connection with five others in Essex

Tests have failed to establish a link between six suspected drugs-related deaths in Essex, police said.

Three men and three women from Southend, Leigh-on-Sea, Canvey Island and Westcliff-on-Sea died between 28 July and 30 July.

Essex Police said: "Tests have shown there is no clear scientific evidence to show a link between those who died."

The force previously said the deaths could be connected to the strength of cocaine and heroin.

Image copyright Thomas Nugent/Geograph
Image caption Two of the deaths happened on Canvey Island

In a statement, the force said: "Due to the closeness of the deaths, in both time and geography, and the possibility of Class A drug use, Essex Police launched an investigation to determine whether the deaths may be linked."

Toxicology reports have since showed one man's death was due to a "potential medical episode", police said.

Ch Supt Kevin Baldwin said: "Given the high number of tragic deaths that occurred in such a short space of time and in areas of the county very close to one another, it would have been remiss of Essex Police not to have carried out a full and robust investigation.

"Whilst the expert findings now show that these deaths were not scientifically linked, we must not forget that six people have sadly passed away and our thoughts remain with them and their families."

A 36-year-old man from London and a 29-year-old man from Grays were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs in connection with the investigation. They have been released on conditional bail until October.

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