Popular drug blamed in for woman's death

LAS VEGAS - A 21-year-old Henderson, Nev., woman is the first known fatality in Clark County of the hallucinogen Ecstasy.

A coroner's report confirmed this week that Danielle Heird's death in July was a result of an overdose from the party drug that's becoming increasingly popular among young adults.

The amount of Ecstasy in Heird's system was equivalent to between one and 1 1/2 pills, and there were no other controlled substances or alcohol found in her body, said Todd Raybuck, a Las Vegas police officer familiar with the case.

Ecstasy, also called methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, is a synthetic, mind-altering drug often used by all-night partygoers. Side effects can include increases in body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, as well as death.

Heird's father, James, said his daughter died between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on July 20 after celebrating a friend's birthday at C2K, a nightclub in the Venetian on the Strip. While at C2K, the young woman felt ill, and her friends took her to one of their homes to lie down.

He said he specifically asked a representative of the coroner's office if his daughter had any other drugs in her system and was told she did not.

Danielle Heird, who had lived in Henderson since she was 6 weeks old, graduated from Gorman High School and was a hostess at the Palace Station before becoming a waitress at Mandalay Bay's Rum Jungle.


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