TimesOC: Authorities say drugs likely led to 3 deaths in Newport Beach

"Sign up for our TimesOC newsletter" and the L.A. Times logo over the Huntington Beach Pier at sunset.
TimesOC, a newsletter about Orange County, is published Wednesdays and Fridays.
(Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Oct. 27. I’m John Canalis, bringing you today’s TimesOC newsletter with the latest roundup of news and events.

Balboa Island awoke to unlikely news Monday when authorities discovered three dead bodies in an apartment above a garage. The three victims, two women and a man, each in their 40s, lived outside of the area — two in Yorba Linda and one in Riverside. A fourth person, a man, survived but was hospitalized.

Tiny Balboa Island rarely sees tragedies of scale, and curious neighbors immediately gathered near the scene. A hazmat crew entering the apartment also caused concern.

Though the coroner has yet to determine the official causes of death, police said the victims probably overdosed on drugs, which explains the authorities’ use of protective clothing.

Newport Beach’s mayor, in a prepared statement, made reference to Orange County’s ongoing battle with opiates like fentanyl.

Balboa Island
Police tape blocks off a home with an apartment in back where three adults were found dead, possibly of a drug overdose.
(Susan Hoffman/ For the Daily Pilot)


— Orange County is on pace for the most homeless deaths in a year. At least 321 unhoused residents have died so far, just shy of the 330 lost in 2020, the worst toll on record.

— Two men who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and burglary in the death 12 years ago of a Laguna Beach hotel worker were sentenced to prison Monday.

— Sprucing up that short-term rental? If it’s in Costa Mesa, you may have to wait another year to list it, as the City Council is set to extend a temporary ban on Airbnb rentals and the like.

— Newport Beach is considering a charter measure to elect its mayor. The title is currently given to a council member selected by their peers.

A fashion show at Vanguard University sought to call attention to the environmental and labor abuses tied to the fast-fashion industry.

A model strikes a pose at a Vanguard University fashion show aimed at calling attention to the fast-fashion industry.
A model strikes a pose at a Vanguard University fashion show aimed at calling attention to the fast-fashion industry.
(Spencer Grant / For the Daily Pilot)


— The region’s minor league soccer team, Orange County Soccer Club, recently broke ground on a “mini-pitch” in Santa Ana, where it plans to host youth clinics and other events. Huntington Beach might get the next one.

A groundbreaking ceremony on a new miniature outdoor hard-surface soccer field in Santa Ana.
Jeff Garner, left, Orange County Soccer Club president, Lisa Rudloff, center, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency executive director, and council member Phil Bacerra, right, address the media during a groundbreaking ceremony on a new miniature outdoor hard-surface soccer field, a mini-pitch, on Tuesday morning at Delhi Park in Santa Ana.
(Kevin Chang / Daily Pilot)

— In high school football, Edison shut out Fountain Valley in the annual Bell Game.

Marina lost to Garden Grove.

— And Corona del Mar beat its main rival, Newport Harbor, with a strong second half.


— Those tiny neighborhood lending libraries are all over Orange County. But there’s one in Costa Mesa that’s also lending tiny works of art.

— A Huntington Beach woman, who has devoted her career to nonprofits, could use some help from others now. She desperately needs a new kidney.

Julie Holdaway
Julie Holdaway at her son Jonas’ high school graduation. The Huntington Beach mom, who is vice president of an Irvine nonprofit, needs a kidney transplant.
(Spencer Grant / For the Daily Pilot)

— And, of course, I need to leave you with a Halloween tale involving two journalists who do good work: TimesOC staffer Gabriel San Roman and freelance journalist Jessica Peralta, who has written for us many times. San Roman wrote about Peralta’s website, “Halloween Every Night,” which is filled with a guide to events, news, videos and other chilling treats.

“My mom likes to say that when she was pregnant with me she was reading Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot,’” Peralta, an unabashed Fright Night fan, told San Roman. “I don’t know if that had any impact.”

Judge for yourself by visiting Jessica’s site,

Journalist Jessica Peralta, founder of the “Halloween Every Night," website.
Journalist Jessica Peralta, founder of the “Halloween Every Night,” website.
(Raul Roa)