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3 arrested in connection with Woodbury teen's death


A Woodbury family is planning a funeral for their 17-year-old daughter, while police are investigating her death.

KSTP reports officers responded to a report of an unresponsive teen at her home on the south side of the city Saturday morning. Tara Fitzgerald was taken to Regions Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The station cited sources who said that Fitzgerald died of an overdose. Toxicology results from the medical examiner could take six to eight weeks to complete.

An 18-year-old man and two 17-year-old boys were arrested on probable cause third-degree murder and taken to the Washington County jail after the teen died. The Star Tribune reports they were released pending charges. The newspaper quoted Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, who noted that "if someone gives another drugs and that person dies as a result, it could be considered third-degree murder."

The Pioneer Press adds that Orput expects that charges will be filed.

"We have been closely involved in pursing the investigation," Orput said. "I have two attorneys assigned to it and when we're prepared to file charges. We don't know where it's going or who's going to be charged yet."

Investigators want to know what she ingested and where she got it, Orput said.

"We’ve got to stop this scourge in the county," the told the Star Tribune, noting that last year six people died of overdoses in Washington County. “Right now, we’re trying to track down, if there is anything, where it came from, who distributed it and I want to go all the way up the tree to the top branch.”

FOX 9 reported that the death followed a slumber party at Fitzgerald's home. Patch reported that an email from Woodbury High School principal Linda Plante confirmed Fitzgerald as a Woodbury High School student.

"Parents, we have sad news to share with you about a student of ours at Woodbury High School," Plante wrote in an email. "Tragically, junior Tara Fitzgerald, died this weekend. Tara Fitzgerald was an excellent student, and a valued member of our school community."

In an obituary, Fitzgerald was remembered as a talented artist and musician and an avid reader.

A Mass of Christian burial will be Saturday in Woodbury.

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