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Detectives investigating the suspected drug-deaths of four young people over the weekend have made 10 arrests.
A “large scale” investigation is underway after three 18-year-olds and a young man, 21, died across Newcastle on Saturday and Sunday.
Police said that drugs including ketamine and MDMA were suspected to have been a factor in the deaths.
Detectives revealed that two of the drug-related deaths occurred at the same address.
Chief Inspector at Northumbria Police, Steve Wykes, said: “This weekend we have seen the tragic loss of four young lives and our thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of those who have sadly died.
“Although our investigations are at an early stage and we continue to establish the circumstances around these tragedies, we want to reiterate our warning to people against taking drugs for recreational use.
“The consequences could cost you your life.
“We will continue to work with both universities and will be increasing our patrols in the areas where these tragedies have occurred.”
He added: “We would urge anyone with any information in relation to these tragedies to come forward – even the smallest piece of information could help us.
"If anyone has any information about who has supplied the drugs in question then we would also encourage them to contact us at the earliest opportunity."
Shortly after 6.05am on Saturday, police received the first report of an unresponsive woman at an address on Richardson Road.
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The 18-year-old, who was a student at Newcastle University, is believed to have taken a quantity of ketamine and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tributes poured in for the young woman, named locally as Jeni Larmour, originally from Newtownhamilton in Northern Ireland.
Friends penned emotional goodbyes to the popular student, with one pal writing: “Jeni Larmour, taken too soon with such a bright future ahead. Sending love to all the family.”
One woman commented: “You’ll be missed greatly Jeni Larmour, it was a pleasure to know you! X”
Another said: “Rest in peace gorgeous, taken too soon.”
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Police said on Monday that one 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of supplying a Class B drug and has since been released on police bail.
The horror weekend continued on Saturday when, just before 3.50pm on Saturday, police were called to a report of a cardiac arrest at a property on Coach Road Estate, Washington, where an 18-year-old had reportedly taken a quantity of MDMA and fallen ill.
Officers and emergency services attended but the man, who is not a university student, was pronounced dead a short time after.
Seven people were arrested in connection with this incident and have since been released under investigation.
On Sunday, at 8.13am, police were then alerted to a report that a 21-year-old student from Northumbria University had taken ill at an address on Melbourne Street, Newcastle.
It is suspected he had taken a quantity of MDMA.
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He was transported to hospital, but died a short time later.
A 20-year-old male arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs has since been released on police bail.
Then, at around 1.10pm on Sunday, detectives received a further call to the same building on Richardson Road, where the first woman had been found.
Sadly, another 18-year-old student had died.
It is believed ketamine had been present at the address.
An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and has been released on police bail.
Police say they have carried out a number of "consent-based room searches" at student accommodations.
It comes after police issued a desperate plea for young people to consider the risks of illicit drugs.
Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchinson said: “Although our investigations are still at a very early stage and we continue to establish the circumstances surrounding the deaths, we are warning people against taking drugs.
"We would urge anybody thinking about taking drugs to please not take the risk. The consequences could cost you your life.”
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