Fatal Attraction: A Young Mayor and His Friend Among Victims of Opioid Crisis
By Michael Rubinkam
Brandon Wentz agonized over his resignation letter.
The 24-year-old mayor of Mount Carbon had just moved with his family to a nearby town, requiring him to give up the office. Normally so good with words, Wentz strained to find just the right ones to express himself. He felt like he was letting his constituents down.
It was a small thing, that letter, but his inability to write it reflected the struggles Wentz had been experiencing of late.
“You could just see the stress and sadness in him,” recalled his mother, Janel Firestone.
After tinkering with it for several days, Wentz finally sent a brief missive to the town secretary. Then he met up with a close friend, Ryan Fessler. They hung out in Wentz’s room for a while, and Fessler left.
Wentz was dead by morning. The cause: an overdose of heroin and fentanyl.