Four men found dead at a Palmdale home. Authorities suspect drug use

PALMDALE, CA - JANUARY 17: Four men were found dead at this residence on 35700 block 17th St. East on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024 in Palmdale, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Four men were found dead Tuesday at this residence in the 37000 block of 17th Street East in Palmdale. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Investigators suspect drug use was a factor in the deaths of four men whose bodies were found at a Palmdale home Tuesday, officials said.

Authorities have not yet determined an official cause of death for the four men discovered on the property in the 37000 block of 17th Street East, but confirmed the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Overdose Response Task Force is investigating.

Deputies and county firefighters were initially dispatched to the residence after receiving a call of a person down, sheriff's officials said in a statement. Upon arriving at 4:35 p.m., they found four men dead on the property, two inside the home and two in the backyard.

Aerial view of a suburban neighborhood street with sheriff's cruisers parked.
Investigators gather outside the Palmdale home where four bodies were discovered on Tuesday. (KTLA-TV Channel 5)

The Los Angeles County medical examiner's office identified one of the men Wednesday as Thomas Lee Ramsey Jr., 35, of Los Angeles. The names of the three others have not been released, pending notification of next of kin, but they were identified as a man in his 60s, and two men in their 30s.

Read more: Bodies found inside and outside Palmdale house; deaths of 4 men under investigation

Sheriff's officials said their initial investigation indicates there was narcotic use at the home.

Nearby residents said the home was a regular spot for parties.

"There's always something going on right here, always, always, always," said a 30-year-old resident who did not want to be identified. "Sometimes we don't get any sleep because they're partying all night."

Read more: Fentanyl blamed for surge in overdose deaths in and around Skid Row, according to new data

Some of the people visiting the home also appeared to walk out, buy drugs and walk back in, according to the resident.

Another resident said there are multiple known drug-dealing spots in the area.

"You can see them selling dope," said the 61-year-old, who also wished to remain anonymous. She said she carries Narcan, a drug to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, because she knows people who use narcotics in the neighborhood.

The front of a house.
Authorities believe drugs may be a factor in the deaths of four men whose bodies were found at this residence in the 37000 block of 17th Street East in Palmdale. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The sheriff's task force was created in 2022 in response to a surge in overdose deaths in L.A. County and investigates drug-related deaths and the sources of drugs. According to the department, the task force also investigates whether sellers might be criminally charged in certain cases.

Read more: 'It's absolutely heartbreaking': Fentanyl is officially Los Angeles County's deadliest drug

Overdose deaths have been increasing steadily in the county and have tripled since 2016.

Fentanyl is leading the trend. According to a November report from the L.A. County Department of Public Health, fentanyl was the culprit behind nearly 60% of the 3,220 accidental drug and alcohol overdoses recorded countywide in 2022.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.