‘The number one killer’: A mom in mourning sounds the alarm about fentanyl

Cammie Velci says her 19-year-old son was tricked into taking the drug and died.
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 8:27 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 20, 2022 at 8:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Hawaii woman, who now lives in California, is sounding the alarm on a deadly drug.

Cammie Velci said her son was tricked into taking fentanyl and died at his California home in 2020.

”Why would this beautiful, smart and vivacious young man who had just, you know, had been speaking about going into the Coast Guard... why is he dead?” said Velci.

“He went home and played video games and passed away. His brothers found him the next morning.”

Emilo Velci was 19-years-old. Cammie said her son thought he was taking pharmeceutical percoset to relieve pain from his wisdom teeth.

It was fentanyl.

”How is my son going to overdose? He didn’t do drugs. How are you telling me he took one pill and he’s dead?” said Velci.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency says all it takes is one counterfeit pill to kill. Drug dealers are creating lethal doses by mixing fentanyl with other substances like heroin, meth, and cocaine.

”Two milligrams is enough to kill someone. It’s a tiny, tiny amount on the tip of a pencil and that’s lethal,” said Velci. “Instead of saying, this is an overdose, this is a poisoning.”

24-year-old Timothy Wolfe was arrested and federally indicted for distributing fentanyl causing death.

Emilio is just one of tens of thousands of Americans who’ve died from fentanyl. The DEA says every day more faces are added to a memorial in DC. It is their mission along with Cammie and countless other families to prevent another fentanyl death.

”It’s the number one killer of 18 to 40-year-olds,” said Velci. “Now, they’re saying they’re seeing that number drop to 15-year-olds.”

Cammie urges parents to talk to their children more about the dangers of fentanyl.

”If it is not coming from your parents, from your doctor, out of your own prescription bottle, you do not take it,” said Velci.

She also says parents should monitor their child’s activity on social media since pills tainted with fentanyl are often sold online.

”I’ve seen things go down on Snapchat. You can purchase just about anything on there just with the click of a button,” said Velci.

She recommends that parents should make sure their kids have access to Narcan to be safe.

”I may have been that mother that would have said, you know, my kids aren’t doing anything like that,” Velci said.

“But it can happen to anybody. I still cry everyday.”

Three years after Emilio’s death, the suspect charged with second degree murder will stand trial next March.