Police say drug overdoses killed 2 eastern Indiana jail inmates

File photo.

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. — State police say two eastern Indiana county jail inmates died from overdoses of a powerful synthetic drug.

State police began investigating after two Connersville men — 37-year-old Chad Sizemore and 30-year-old Thomas Lohr — were pronounced dead early June 6 in the Fayette County Jail.

Police say toxicology tests found that Sizemore and Lohr died from acute carfentanil (kahr-FEHN’-tuh-nihl) intoxication. Carfentanil is an opioid used to tranquilize elephants and is considered 1,000 times more powerful than morphine.

Sizemore was booked into the jail about an hour before he, Lohr and a third man were found unresponsive inside a cell. Police say the third man was hospitalized and recovered.

State police Sgt. John Bowling says investigators believe Sizemore smuggled the drug into the jail in a body cavity.