PARK CITY, Utah -- Police and school district officials in Park City are warning parents about a new synthetic drug after two students died, and this week several parents have taken that advice to heart and searched their children's belongings for drugs.
While the cause of death for the two 13-year-old students has yet to be officially determined, police say they feel strongly about warning parents about U-47700, or "pink", a potent synthetic opioid much more dangerous than other drugs in that same class of substances.
Earlier this week, school district officials urged parents to check their children's belongings to look for drugs or substances in unmarked containers that might be drugs. During Friday's press conference, authorities announced that one parent had confiscated a clear liquid from her child.
Another mom searched her child's room and found a box of nasal inhalers containing an unknown substance. Unlabeled nasal inhalers were one of the items officials specifically mentioned parents should be on the lookout for.
Police are testing both substances to identify them, but it could take between three and eight weeks to complete that process. During targeted searches at schools Wednesday, police also located a container with a white powder believed to be methamphetamine. They say the student who had the container is part of a circle of friends that includes the two deceased students and the third who attempted suicide.
"That individual where we found that, it is my understanding that this person is a friend, or is within this group of friends, that we've discussed before," Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter said.
With two mysterious deaths days apart and a suicide attempt, it's been a tumultuous week for students and parents, like Dinah Vipod.
"It hasn't stopped. It's one day after another," Vipod said.
Vipod's son is a 9th grader at Treasure Mountain Junior High and was on the ski team with Grant Seaver.
"Absolutely traumatizing," Vipod said. "I'm a single mom, and this wasn't even a speck on my radar."
Counselors have been available around the clock for students, according to Park City Schools Superintendent Ember Conley.
"Today was the first day it felt normal," Conley said. "They were getting back to their routine. A lot less students coming into the counseling office."