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CORONER: Furman student from Augusta died from Fentanyl overdose

Joseph "Blake" Hadden
Joseph "Blake" Hadden(WRDW)
Published: May. 6, 2017 at 3:56 PM EDT
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June 16, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) --An autopsy reveals an Augusta native and Furman University senior who was found dead in his dorm room last month died from a Fentanyl overdose.

In the autopsy report, the coroner lists the cause of death for Joseph Blake Hadden, 23, as 'Acute fentanyl toxicity.'

Hadden was found unresponsive in bed at his dorm room the night before he was scheduled to graduate. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

This case is still under investigation by the Greenville County Coroner's Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Divison.

Monday, May 8, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- An Augusta native and Furman University senior who was found dead in his dorm room on Friday will be laid to rest Monday.

The funeral service for Joseph Blake Hadden, 23, will be at 11 a.m. at Warren Baptist Church. Afterward, he will be buried at Westover Memorial Park.

According to his obituary, Blake was born in 1994 on his grandfather's birthday. He attended Augusta Prep and was a 2012 graduate of Academy of Richmond County High School. He was supposed to graduate on Saturday from Furman, and was awarded his degree posthumously.

He was passionate about golf. His obituary states that he made two holes in one at The Future Masters Tournament when he was 12. He was also a member of the Augusta Country Club.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers that memorial contributions be made to the Hale House Foundation on 402 Walker Street in Augusta. The Hale House Foundation is a transitional program to assist men over the age of 18 with substance abuse problems.

You can sign the guestbook and read the full obituary here:


Saturday, May 6, 2017

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Greenville County Coroner and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are investigating the death of a Furman student from Augusta.

The coroner says Joseph Blake Hadden, 23, was found dead in his dorm room early Friday morning. The coroner pronounced him dead at 3:40 a.m. in the North Village apartments.

Hadden, who is from Augusta, was a senior at Furman University. He was set to graduate today. A statement from the President of Furman University said in a statement Hadden will be awarded his degree posthumously at Commencement.

The coroner says they do not have a cause of death at this time. They are waiting on a toxicology report and an autopsy. Those results could take several weeks.

Furman Police Chief Tom Saccenti tells News 12 NBC 26 that dispatch received a call from the residents in the apartment at around 4:20 Friday morning. They told dispatchers they found Hadden unconscious in a room.

Furman University Police Officers responded to the apartment and performed CPR. Chief Saccenti says crews also used an AED was before paramedics arrived. Crews contacted the coroner shortly after EMS arrived.

Chief Saccenti says it's required that SLED investigates every death that happens on a college campus.

In a statement to the Furman Community, President Elizabeth Davis wrote, "Please take a moment to remember the life of Joseph “Blake” Hadden and his time as a member of our community. May all who knew him find peace and comfort during this difficult time."

Counseling services are being offered at the school today.