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Wife of man who died of illicit fentanyl overdose wants woman who gave him pill arrested

Chelsea Ramirez said her husband thought he was being given oxycodone. Minutes after he took it, he was unresponsive.

EVANS, Colo. — The Ramirez household can get a little chaotic with four kids, two turtles and a kitten. 

"Are you a happy boy?" Chelsea Ramirez said Wednesday to her 10-month-old son as he grabbed for the necklace around her neck. 

She doesn't mind, because that necklace has a special meaning. 

"It’s got Nacho's ashes in it, so he always clings to it and I’m like aw," said the mom of four. 

Ignacio Ramirez, or Nacho has he was called, was Chelsea's husband and the kids' dad. 

“He was very loud and obnoxious but in all the best ways possible," Chelsea said. 

Their home has been quieter since Aug. 11, 2021. 

Nacho died after taking a pill that Chelsea said he thought was oxycodone. His cause of death was fentanyl.

His death was one of 890 tied to fentanyl in Colorado last year, according to the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment. Those deaths account for 49% of all overdose deaths in the state in 2021, up from 37% in 2020.

RELATED: Denver giving naloxone, fentanyl test strips to people released from custody

RELATED: Wife arrested following husband's suspected fentanyl overdose

“He said, wow that was a lot stronger than I expected, and I was like frustrated with him because of course -- I had told him don’t do it," said Ramirez.  "And he trusted this person, and that was the last thing to come out of his mouth." 

Chelsea said her husband had been complaining about back pain, but the specialist couldn't see him for another couple of months. She said he called his friend who he thought had oxycodone.

It's been eight months since that friend gave him the pill that took his life, and Chelsea wonders why this woman hasn't been charged with a crime. 

Her neighbors had a home security camera that captured the woman giving her husband the pill, and Chelsea said she turned that over to police. 

“We’ve been told things like, 'Oh, I’m sorry we haven’t gotten back to you sooner, but we’ve had higher priority cases to deal with,' and that just tells me that you think my husband dying, you think that my husband getting murdered, is a low priority, and that is unacceptable," said Chelsea. 

Credit: Family
Chelsea and Ignacio Ramirez

She chose the word murder purposefully. 

“It is," said Chelsea. "He was poisoned." 

Greeley Police said they are actively investigating the case and cannot comment. 

So, Chelsea is adding her voice to the story of fentanyl. She's making up for the loudness that's been lost. 

"I don’t feel like anybody is too good for this to cross their paths," she said. "You just never know.”

Chelsea plans to lend her voice in support of the bill that would add harsher penalties to people who deal fentanyl. That bill still has to get through one more committee before it goes to the entire house floor for debate.

As 9NEWS has previously reported, prosecutors who pursue an overdose case have to prove a dealer knew the drug contained fentanyl and then failed to tell the person who took it.

RELATED: Colorado House committee passes fentanyl bill

RELATED: Murder, manslaughter charges after overdose deaths are uncommon in Colorado

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