Toms River police are investigating two Thursday deaths that appear to be drug related.
A 20-year-old Toms River woman and 35-year-old Brick man are believed to have died from drug overdoses, said Toms River Chief of Police Michael Mastronardy. Their identities were not immediately revealed by authorities.
Police first responded to an Ashford Drive residence at 7:30 a.m. and found that a 20-year-old township woman appeared to have overdosed on narcotics, the chief said.
"The victim was staying at a friend’s house when she was found not breathing by occupants of the home," Mastronardy said.
Later that morning, police responded to the Red Roof Inn on Water Street on a report of a male not breathing. That's where the 35-year-old Brick man was found and pronounced dead at the scene, Mastronardy said.
Detectives Randy Petrick and James Magovern are investigating the deaths along with Ocean County's Prosecutor's Office, Medical Examiner’s Office and Sheriff’s Department, the chief said.
"The township is experiencing a dramatic increase in heroin being used in the community," Mastronardy said. He urged that anyone with information about drug use should contact the police department's Special Enforcement Team at 349-0150, ext. 1272.