A Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife found dead by their children in March in their Ohio home overdosed on a lethal combination of cocaine and carfentanil, a powerful derivative of fentanyl often used to tranquilize rhinoceroses and elephants.

A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Coroner’s office tells PEOPLE that Ohio couple Brian and Courtney Halye combined the two potent substances. Their deaths have been ruled accidental.

After the couple were found dead by their children in their Centerville home, the coroner initially listed the preliminary cause of death as being “consistent with a heroin or fentanyl overdose.”


Brian, 36, was a pilot for Spirit Airlines. He married Courtney, 34, in 2012. They each had two children from previous relationships — he, two daughters and she, a son and a daughter. The children ranged in age from 9 to 13.

All of the children have been placed with relatives, according to state officials.

On March 16, the Halye’s children peeked into their parents’ bedroom after the couple failed to wake them up for school.

After finding their unresponsive parents, the 13-year-old son called 911 and told the operator, “I just woke up and my two parents are on the floor.”

The Halyes died one week after Brian Halye’s last flight for the airline, according to officials.

Medical examiners can not say for sure if the Halyes knew the cocaine they were taking had been laced with carfentanil, which is 1,000 times more powerful than morphine.

But both the husband and wife injected the drug.

A police incident report from January 2016 alleged that Courtney — a Type 1 diabetic — had a history of drug use.

The coroner indicates Courtney had needle puncture marks on her right thigh and left wrist, while Brian had a single puncture wound on his right arm.

In an interview in late March, Courtney’s friend, Monica Camacho, told PEOPLE she thought her friend had defeated her demons.

“I knew that they had their issues,” Camacho explained, “but I honestly thought that she had things under control. This is so shocking to everyone.”



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