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2 Hawaii men identified in suspected fentanyl deaths in Waikiki

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office has identified two men from Hawaii who died following the suspected fentanyl overdose involving five people in a Waikiki hotel room over the weekend.

A Medical Examiner official said one of the men was Joseph Iseke, 44, of Kailua.

According to Honolulu Police Department reports, Iseke was pronounced dead at the scene after Honolulu Emergency Medical Services paramedics responded to a call at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday regarding a possible overdose case with multiple victims.

They found five victims: Iseke; two men ages 40 and 53, who were treated and taken to a hospital in critical condition; and two women, ages 53 and 47, who were transported in serious condition.

The other fatality was identified today as Steven Berengue, 53, of Kailua-Kona, who died at a hospital following Sunday’s incident.

The cause of death for both men is pending and could take anywhere up to six months to determine, the Medical Examiner official said.

Honolulu police have opened two unattended death investigations in the case, according to HPD spokesperson Michelle Yu. She said fentanyl was detected at the scene.

“Anyone who has information about this case should contact HPD or Crime Stoppers Honolulu,” Yu said.

Officials familiar with the case said they are looking at fentanyl as the probable cause of the deaths and illnesses.

Outrigger spokesperson Monica Salter said in a written statement today, “The team at Outrigger is deeply saddened by the recent event that occurred at the resort and our thoughts go out to all those who have been affected. The safety and well-being of our guests and hosts are our utmost priorities.

“Our dedicated resort team worked closely with law enforcement agencies to provide them with any assistance they required,” she said.

Fentanyl and other lab-produced synthetic opioids have become a growing concern across the U.S., where lawmakers are weighing harsher penalties as well as measures designed to prevent deaths from the potent drug.

Source: Star Advertiser