Former child actor Austin Majors’ death earlier this week from a suspected fentanyl overdose while staying at an “interim housing program” makes him the latest victim of the drug and homelessness crises plaguing California.
According to Majors’ sister, Kali Raglin, the 27-year-old’s cause of death was a “suspected fentanyl poisoning with an ongoing investigation,” however the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner has so far labeled the official cause of death as “deferred pending additional investigation.”
At the time of his death, Majors was a resident of The Hilda L. Solis Care First Village in Los Angeles as part of its “interim housing program.” It’s unclear exactly where Majors died, but according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, Majors died at a “residence.”
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Homelessness and overdose deaths due to fentanyl have been on the rise in California. In 2021, there were 6,843 overdose deaths in the state, of which 5,722 were related to fentanyl, according to state statistics.
Additionally, California accounted for 30% of America’s homeless population, making up just 12% of its overall population, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom has faced sharp scrutiny for his handling of both crises, as well as the sharp rise in crime across the state, even facing a recall election in 2021 that he ultimately survived.
Fox News Digital spoke with one advocate and mother of a 23-year-old girl who tragically passed away from an accidental fentanyl overdose last year after trying cocaine for the first time.
The mother, named Laura, detailed the tragic story of the night her daughter, who she noted was not a regular user of drugs, died because the small amount of cocaine she took was laced with fentanyl.
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Since her daughter’s death, Laura, along with her police officer husband, have been staunch advocates of addressing how federal, state and local officials are falling short in addressing the crisis, including how many instances of fentanyl overdoses are being treated as regular accidental overdose deaths rather than murder cases.
“Until these people start getting arrested and treated as murderers, they’re not going to stop selling drugs,” she said.
Laura explanied that it was imperative that awareness about how any drug or pill could be laced with fentanyl be better disseminated to schools and to young people in hopes that more deaths could be prevented.
She added that she didn’t want to make it a political issue, but noted that fentanyl coming across America’s borders was another major area where the issue needed to be addressed.
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Fox reached out to Newsom’s office for comment on this story, but did not receive a response.
Fox News’ Janelle Ash contributed to this report.