3 Arrested After Woodbury Girl Dies From Drug Overdose

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three teenagers face murder charges after a girl overdosed at a Woodbury, Minn. home last weekend.

Woodbury Police responded to a home located on the 3000 block of Commonwealth Avenue at 9:10 a.m. Saturday morning after someone reported a 17-year-old girl who was unresponsive.

Woodbury Police confirmed the girl’s identity as Tara Fitzgerald. She was rushed to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where she died shortly after.

The Washington County Attorney is now pursuing third-degree murder charges with three individuals connected to Fitzgerald. They include Cole Matenaer, 18, of Woodbury, and two unidentified 17-year-old boys.

“We are in the midst of the investigation right now,” said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput. “What are we investigating? How did she die? If she died due to drugs, who provided them?”

Fitzgerald was a student at Woodbury High School.

Orput said he’s going to aggressively pursue all the people responsible for Fitzgerald’s untimely death.

“It’s not just who directly provided (the drugs), but who directly provided them to provider. I want to go all the way with it and track this down,” he said.

Orput said drug use in Washington County has spiked in the last few years. He said last year they lost six young people to overdoses or drug-related deaths.

“It seems like I’ve never been busier with these cases than I have in the last couple of years and I’ve been doing this for 28 years,” Orput said.

Police say they won’t know the exact cause of Fitzgerald’s death until the medical examiner returns with a toxicology report, which can take several weeks.

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