Peterborough police say the death of a man in March 2020 was a “planned and deliberate attack.”
On Wednesday police arrested an 18-year-old woman in Peterborough in connection to what they say was the drug-related death of Tyler Nolan, 24, of Peterborough.
She was charged with first-degree murder and trafficking a Schedule I substance — fentanyl.
The accused cannot be identified as she was 17 at the time of the incident, police said, and her identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. She is scheduled to appear in court in Peterborough on Thursday.
During a Peterborough Police Service media conference Thursday morning, Det. Sgt. Josh McGrath said that on March 7 emergency crews responded to an incident at a Bethune Street home where Nolan was found without vital signs.
He said Nolan’s death was initially treated as an “accidental” drug overdose, but new information led to criminal charges. He said evidence gathered showed Nolan had been intentionally administered drugs that resulted in his death.
“Information obtained during the investigation showed this death was the result of a criminal act,” said McGrath.
McGrath said the extensive and “difficult” six-month investigation — which is ongoing — led police to conclude Nolan’s death was a “planned and deliberate act which was intended to cause death.”
“We are not expecting any more arrests in this case,” he said.
Details of the toxicology and post-mortem reports cannot be disclosed, citing the ongoing investigation, nor would McGrath say if the accused and Nolan knew each other.
To date, there have been 36 suspected opioid-related deaths in Peterborough this year, McGrath said.
McGrath noted it is uncommon to lay a first-degree murder charge in a drug-related incident.
“This is very uncommon to reach the threshold — as you can call — it for a first-degree murder charge,” he said in response to a media member’s question. “You have to ensure all investigative steps are covered and we can provide evidence that it was a planned and intentional, deliberate act that caused the death of someone.
“In terms of this investigation, it involved a number of complex steps to get to the point where we are at today,” he added.
An online obituary described Nolan as a husband and a father to six who was “very devoted to his family and family always came first.”