COLUMBUS, Ohio — The family of one of two men found dead inside a Columbus YMCA say they believe he died of a drug overdose. Richard Dean says he was notified over the weekend that his youngest brother, Tim, died at the YMCA downtown.
According to run reports, Columbus police were called to the YMCA location on 40 West Long Street twice on Friday. Two people were found dead and 911 calls reveal they were found during wellness checks.
Dean said his brother struggled with drug addiction for years and while an official cause of death has not yet been released, he believes he died of an overdose.
“I think he was caught up and in so deep he didn't know how to get out,” he said.
Dean said he once stayed at this same shelter 20 years ago, when he too struggled with addiction.
"I thank God that he got me out and he showed me a whole new way of life,” he said.
The cause of deaths for both men has not been released and the Franklin County Coroner's office did not respond to our questions on Monday.
Dean, however, said this is a wake-up call for anyone who has a loved one battling addiction.
“I want to use his death as a way to encourage others to know this drug problem is worse than terrible and if you have family members that are using drugs please, please, please, do what you can to support 'em. Reach out and do what you can to help them,” he said.
YMCA of Central Ohio sent the following statement to 10TV:
“As a health and human services provider, especially a provider of housing and emergency shelter, the loss of life is devastating. We are holding these men, their families and our staff teams in our prayers. We are working closely and cooperatively with the Columbus Police Department. The YMCA of Central Ohio is committed to the safety and dignity of all those we serve.”