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By Phil Devitt
Standard-Times staff writer
August 31, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - Two men were found dead under a downtown bridge Friday night after a suspected drug overdose, police said Saturday.
The men were found under a footbridge near Route 6 and the split where Purchase and Pleasant Streets meet, according to Gregg Miliote, spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter.
"It appears to be an overdose, but we can't confirm that today," Mr. Miliote said, adding that no signs of foul play were found.
Police Chief Ronald Teachman said he was at the scene Friday night, but because the district attorney is the lead investigator, he declined to comment.
Mr. Miliote said the deaths remained under investigation as the district attorney's office awaits toxicology results. He said he was not sure when those results would be available.
He did not release the names of the men Saturday night pending notification of their families.
Last month in the city, three people died of suspected drug overdoses in less than two weeks, the result of what police said could have been a lethal batch of heroin.
The first suspected heroin-related death occurred July 19 when a 39-year-old New Bedford woman was found dead inside a Hillman Street residence. According to report logs, police responded to a complaint of a possible overdose at the residence.
Less than a week later, on July 24, the body of a 24-year-old Swampscott man was found lying in a wooded area at Riverside Park. Two witnesses who found the man said they saw a hypodermic syringe next to him.
The next day, a 31-year-old New Bedford woman was found dead in a hotel room at the Days Inn on Hathaway Road. Police did not say if there was any drug paraphernalia inside the room.
The number of people being treated for heroin abuse at SouthCoast hospitals have all increased this year, according to Joyce Brennan, spokeswoman for Southcoast Hospitals Group.
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