UNO student died of fentanyl overdose before Uber driver dropped her body at hospital, coroner finds

Ciaya Jordan Whetstone
Ciaya Jordan Whetstone(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 11:18 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2022 at 1:42 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Over two months since her tragic and troubling death, the Orleans Parish Coroner has determined that Ciaya Whetstone died of a fentanyl overdose before her body was dropped off at a hospital.

Whetstone had lethal doses of fentanyl and ethanol in her system at the time of her death, according to the coroner’s office. Her death is classified as “accidental.”

Circumstances around what happened on the night of Feb. 19 are still unclear. Whetstone reportedly attended a Mardi Gras parade and sometime around 1 a.m., a co-worker says she got into an Uber and was not seen or heard from again.

Hours later, her Uber driver reportedly dropped off her dead body at a local hospital.

Attorneys representing the Whetstone family released the following statement after learning of the autopsy results, saying they are forced to file a lawsuit.

“The family of Ciaya Whetstone is saddened by the information contained in the coroner’s report regarding her cause of death and distraught that their daughter may have been the victim of a spiked substance which is becoming all too common.

This coroner’s report simply confirmed what we already suspected: she died of an overdose and her Uber driver failed to take appropriate action.

We are waiting for law enforcement and Uber to offer additional details that will provide this family with the real information they need.

They want to know what the Uber driver did as he witnessed a passenger dying, and why he never called 911 as he witnessed a medical emergency. Uber still has not released any information to the family, so we are forced to file our lawsuit.”

Weeks after her death, Whetstone’s family held a press conference to address concerns about the lack of information they had received and demanded answers.

Attorney L. Chris Stewart, CEO of Stewart Miller Simmons, said at the time that no one informed the family about how she died, the cause of death, or any information from Uber about the driver’s background or the route they took.

The NOPD has maintained that the case is still an active and ongoing investigation.

Uber said in a statement they are working with law enforcement and have removed the unidentified driver’s access to the app.

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