PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An independent investigation into the accidental overdose of Battle Ground Police Sergeant Richard Kelly revealed that a line of fentanyl was found on his desk the day that he died.
Kelly was found unconscious in his office at the Battle Ground Police Department on Aug. 10, before being transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In late October, the Clark County Medical Examiner reported that the “combined toxic effects” of fentanyl and methamphetamine were what caused his death. Battle Ground Police Chief Mike Fort requested that the Vancouver Police Department conduct further investigation into the incident.
Vancouver detectives initially disclosed that Kelly’s death was “more likely than not caused by an intentional act and not an incidental workplace exposure” — but VPD’s full report obtained by KOIN 6 uncovers more about what occurred.
According to the report, one of Kelly’s colleagues responded to a traffic hazard hours before his death. Officials reported that several firearms and narcotics were recovered from an unoccupied vehicle on the scene. Kelly then processed and listed the evidence for “destruction.”
Documents revealed that the sergeant entered the evidence room for the first time around 6 a.m., and for the last time around 10 a.m.
Within those hours, investigators said Kelly looked directly at the surveillance camera just once as he changed one of his latex gloves. The sergeant then grabbed what appeared to be disinfectant spray to wipe down the evidence-processing area.
Kelly entered his office one final time around 12:27 p.m., before a fellow officer found him unresponsive and bent forward in a standing position at about 2:46 p.m.
The sergeant was promptly transported to the PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center where he died.
During the ensuing investigation, Vancouver detective Dustin Goudschaal discovered vomit, a knocked-over computer, a rolled-up piece of paper, and a white powdery substance in two separate locations on Kelly’s desk.
The substance tested positive as fentanyl.
“There was no evidence that the substances were being tested or packaged as evidence within the room as there were no field-testing kits, evidence envelopes or other packaging in the area,” Goudschaal wrote in his report.
The detective proceeded to examine the evidence room and its lockers. He found two un-seized firearms and several packages labeled as narcotics and other paraphernalia, which were then used as evidence in VPD’s investigation.
There were no narcotics or paraphernalia found in Kelly’s take-home vehicle.
During a post-mortem examination, one of Kelly’s nostril swabs tested positive for fentanyl. Amphetamine and methamphetamine were found in the sergeant’s urine sample as well.
“This would indicate that Kelly likely had exposure to these substances for an extended period of time prior to his death as time would be needed for it to metabolize into his urine,” investigators said.