Woman faces charges in heroin overdose death of boyfriend

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. -- For what could be the first time in the history of Boulder County, police charged an alleged drug dealer with the overdose death of a man.

The victim died in February, but police just arrested the suspect Wednesday.

Austin O’Loughlin, 33, died at the home at 2965 17th St. February 28.

His girlfriend now faces multiple felonies, including criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter.

Police said she not only provided the heroin he used, but she didn’t immediately get him the help he needed when he overdosed.

Nina Schwartz, 23, sat on the patio of her father’s home smoking -- just one day after police arrested her for the death of her boyfriend in a room upstairs.

“Officers got a call about an overdose,” said Sgt. Barry Hartkopp with Boulder Police about their response to the home at 1:43 a.m. February 28.

The arrest comes more than two months since O’Loughlin died at the home from a heroin and ethanol overdose.

Police said Schwartz lied about getting immediate help.

“Through our investigation, she first recognized the victim needed assistance about three-and-a-half hours prior,” Sgt. Hartkopp said.

She told police she found Austin unresponsive on the floor hours after she went to sleep and had gotten up to use the restroom. But an arrest affidavit shows police learned otherwise through her text messages.

In one she said “…Austin shot up way to [sic] much … I had to literally cary [sic] and drag him from the apartment to the car then the car to the house and he’s now asleep on the floor in a pile of my shoes lol.”

She sent that text sent at 9:13 p.m., when police say she knew O’Loughlin was unresponsive. The 911 call didn’t come until well after midnight.

“We did find some heroin on site,” said Sgt. Hartkopp.

Police also charged her with distributing drugs. They found five balloons filled with nearly 6 grams of heroin.

An anonymous person also told police, “Schwartz deals heroin on a regular basis and got Austin started on heroin. Austin’s condition deteriorated quickly over the past five months leading up to his recent death.”

That person said she came forward because she wanted to prevent Schwartz from contributing to another person’s death.

“It feels like a very strong reaction or response to a voluntary choice to use drugs,” one neighbor said who wanted to remain anonymous. “And to hold her accountable seems pretty heavy-handed.”

Neighbors are split on the arrest—with some showing compassion—but many others saying Schwartz brings danger too close to their homes.

Police said they found hundreds of messages on her phone that show she’s involved in the distribution of drugs, sending out text blasts to a large group of people on nearly a daily basis asking if they wanted drugs.

She’s due in court on June 12.

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