Ohio Pilot Used Drugs For Years Before He And Wife Died From Overdose

Spirit Air pilot used drugs 2-3 years before overdose death, relative reveals

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A former co-worker and roommate of Halye’s additionally told Centerville police he had “heard Brian talk about smoking marijuana in the past,” but was surprised by the idea that Halye could have used other drugs, according to the Centerville police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Brian Halye, 36, and Courtney Halye, 34, were found dead by their four children March 16 after overdosing on carfentanil — heroin’s much stronger cousin — and cocaine, according to police and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Brian’s parents told police their son’s overdose death was “quite shocking.”

The Centerville police report is the first public documentation alleging that Brian Halye — a pilot at Spirit Airlines for nine years who died less than a week after his most recent flight, according to the airline — had used drugs on occasion before his death in March.

Spirit Airlines did not return an email seeking comment for this story. Previously, a company spokesperson said the airline “operates with the highest degree of safety” and is “fully compliant with federal regulations.”

>> Related: Ohio pilot, wife died from powerful animal tranquilizer, cocaine mixture

‘A total surprise’

While Nancy Casey told police she was aware of her son-in-law’s drug use, Brian’s parents Cindy and James Halye told police they “had no idea at all” their son used drugs.

“It was a total surprise,” James Halye said in a newspaper interview.

“Unfortunately, I’d have to say Brian was using drugs at some point,” said Cindy Halye. “But, I don’t think for a minute he flew while under the direct influence of drugs. He loved his job flying. He was aware that he was in control of many lives while he was flying.”

“He wouldn’t even take allergy-type medicines when he started flying, because it kind of makes you groggy and not alert,” she said.

SPECIAL REPORT: Spirit Airlines pilot’s likely overdose raises safety questions

James Halye said his son started taking pilot lessons at age 13.

Centerville police attempted to track down the source of the couple’s drugs, but were unsuccessful. The investigation ended this month, prompting the release of records this news organization had requested. Police now consider the Halye case “inactive until such time new information or credible leads are available.”

Casey and Brian Huelsman, the attorney representing Courtney Halye’s estate, did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. A phone message left for Jeffrey Samford, Brian Halye’s former roommate interviewed by police, was not immediately returned.

>> Related: Deadly Spirit Airlines pilot overdose raises questions about pilot drug use

Gruesome discovery

Police were called to the Halyes’ suburban home after Courtney’s 11-year-old daughter woke up and noticed her step-sisters had not yet awoke for school. She then found her mother and step-father “unresponsive and not breathing,” the report said.

“Upon arrival, I was met by four juveniles running out of the front door of the residence screaming,” the Centerville officer wrote. Emergency personnel found Brian and Courtney Halye dead with “needle puncture” marks on their bodies, according to the coroner and the police report.

Police additionally found “a couple of spoons that were found in a vanity drawer” of the couple’s master bathroom.

“The spoons had burn marks on the underside which is indicative of them being used to prepare illegal drugs prior to injection,” a Centerville police officer wrote. “One of the spoons still had a small piece of cotton attached, which is indicative of the cotton being used as a filter when illegal drugs are drawn up into a hypodermic syringe.”

>> Related: Police officer overdoses after accidental contact with fentanyl on traffic stop

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A heroin user prepares to inject himself.  
Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
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