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5 charged in synthetic drug death of 17-year-old Twin Cities girl

Synthetic drugs

(Photo courtesy Reuters)
Synthetic drugs (Photo courtesy Reuters)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Five people face murder charges in connection with the January death of a 17-year-old Woodbury girl who ingested a synthetic drug.

Washington County prosecutors say Tara Fitzgerald died after she and a friend took a substance similar to acid or LSD.

The criminal complaint says 19-year-old Alexander Claussen of St. Cloud initially sold the drug to 19-year-old Cole Matenaer of Woodbury. It then passed from one person to the next until Fitzgerald bought it.

Claussen and Matenaer are charged with third-degree murder. Three 17-year-olds who attend Woodbury High School are charged as juveniles. The complaint says at least one transaction took place at the high school.

The complaint says authorities found 305 doses of the drug at Claussen's residence.