Jan 7, 2016 1:47 PM

Possible evidence in Portsmouth fentanyl fatal overdose still locked in phone 6 months later


BRENTWOOD - New details are emerging in the case of a Portsmouth woman accused of selling a man the dose of fentanyl that killed him.

More than six months after Joseph Cahill died of an overdose, police still are seeking access to his phone, which could contain crucial evidence.

READ: Portsmouth restaurant worker, young father dead after suspected heroin overdose

Detective Timothy McCain wrote in an affidavit dated Dec. 7 that the phone has been in police custody since Cahill died, but it is password protected and police have been unable to figure out that password.

In the affidavit, McCain asked the court to order AT&T to turn over all the information and data the company has stored from Cahill's phone in hopes of unlocking it.

The mother of alleged dealer Amanda Burgess received a text from her daughter's phone that night that read, "I killed sum one."

READ: Police say alleged drug dealer texted: I killed sum one

Burgess is charged with selling Cahill the deadly mix of fentanyl and heroin on June 14.

According to the affidavit, police responded to an emergency call on June 15 reporting a woman screaming. A second call from the same address reported a man in cardiac arrest. Police said they arrived to find Cahill's sister in hysterics, and Cahill unconscious on the bathroom floor along with drug paraphernalia.

READ: Suspected Portsmouth heroin dealer indicted

Attempts to revive Cahill were unsuccessful, and the sister, Jamie Cahill, told police her brother was a recovering heroin addict but that she suspected he had relapsed because of his secretive behavior and the presence of the drug paraphernalia. She mentioned that her brother had received several calls from a woman named Amanda, who also was an addict.

Police said when they later interviewed Burgess, she admitted she'd sold Cahill a bag with $40 worth of heroin the night before he overdosed. She also said she'd been with him when he shot up, but that she panicked and left when he became unconscious, the affidavit indicates.

Also included in the affidavit are conflicting accounts from Burgess. Burgess first told police she witnessed the overdose then later said she didn't.

Burgess is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 14.


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