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Police identify 3 dead found on Balboa Island; mayor says drugs a likely cause

Three people were found dead in the back apartment of this Diamond Avenue building on Balboa Island Monday morning.
Three people were found dead in the back apartment of this Diamond Avenue building on Balboa Island Monday morning. A fourth person was taken to a hospital for treatment.
(Susan Hoffman)

Police on Tuesday identified the bodies of three people found dead in an apartment at 106 1/2 Diamond Ave. on Balboa Island.

Andrew Adams and Desiree Temple, both 43 and both of Yorba Linda, and Samantha Haiman, 45, of Riverside, perished in what authorities say are likely drug overdoses. A fourth victim, who was hospitalized but survived, was not identified.

“The three deaths on Balboa Island today appear to be drug-related,” said Mayor Brad Avery. “Statistically, the island is a very safe neighborhood.”

The type of drugs that may have killed the victims were not identified but the mayor referenced the region’s problem with opiates.

“This tragedy reminds us that dangerous illicit drugs, such as fentanyl, are rampant throughout Orange County, which recorded 432 deaths in 2020 from fentanyl overdoses,” he said.

Police received the initial call at 8:23 a.m. Monday requesting medical aid in the area of Diamond Avenue and Bay Front Alley South, according to Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Heather Rangel.

The victim who was hospitalized is believed to have made the call to police, the Orange County Register reported.

Rangel said the causes of death remain under investigation, adding there is no threat to the community.

The Diamond Avenue unit is one of many duplexes with an apartment above the garage. The building is owned by a family who live in the front house and rent out the apartment where police believe the deaths occurred.

Neighbors on the closely knit island found the deaths disconcerting.

“The tragic news of three deaths on Balboa Island due to possible illegal drug use was a shock to our normally very peaceful and safe community,” Jack Callahan, a Balboa Island resident for 30 years. “Balboa Island has been for generations a very family oriented place to live. It’s always been considered a great place to raise a family and a very popular summer vacation destination. Our families are very saddened to hear the news.”

Like Avery, Callahan said the community is concerned about the widespread use of deadly narcotics.

“The concern is a police report that they are getting more calls for drug-related overdoses in Newport Beach and more deaths will happen,” Callahan said. “This is not the kind of thing that happens on Balboa Island.”

This is a breaking news story. Updates will follow.

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