PDT Staff Writer
Dr. Victor Georgescu — the physician who operated out of the last pain clinic in Scioto County — was found dead over the weekend, authorities said on Monday.
The Liberty, Ohio Police Department received a call from Super 8 Motel on Saturday. The caller advised police a subject in Room No. 122 was lying on the floor and was unresponsive. Liberty Fire as well as two patrolmen responded the scene, and it was determined the male subject had died. The Trumbull County Coroners office was notified by officers, and responded to the scene.
“Right now we are treating this as a drug related death,” Trumbull County Coroner, Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, said. “Drug tests, or toxicology usually takes about eight weeks turn around time. So we’ll know more when the drug testing comes back in about eight weeks.”
According to the police report, an empty bottle of 90 proof vodka, and a cup used to mix prescription medication, were found in the room. Germaniuk was asked if reports that Georgescu committed suicide, were substantiated by his initial autopsy.
“Usually people who commit suicide don’t want to botch it, and if I find astronomical levels in you, that would point more toward suicide,” Germaniuk said. “Manner of death is basically all available knowledge. So all I can say until I get the drug testing back is that we are dealing with a drug-related death, and the final determination regarding accident or suicide is going to be a function of the drugs we get back, the level we get back and the police investigation.”
Georgescu was arrested at his home in Centerville, Ohio, on Dec. 20, 2011, at the same time authorities were raiding the Greater Medical Advance at 8744 Ohio River Road, in Wheelersburg. He had been scheduled to go on trial on Sept. 17. He had been free on $150,000 bond and had surrendered his passport.
Barbara Howard, whose daughter Leslie Dawn Cooper died at the age of 34 on Oct. 3, 2009, as a result of a drug overdose, says it was Georgescu who wrote her daughter’s prescriptions, and she had just heard about Georgescu’s death when she talked with the Portsmouth Daily Times Monday morning.
“He is the one that prescribed my daughter all the medication she overdosed on,” Howard said. “He was at the Greater Medical Advance, and he sent her to the pharmacy in Columbus. It hasn’t been five minutes since I heard. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but in a way it does bring some closure for me. He knew exactly what he did was wrong. And to be facing what he was facing - yes, I think it gives me quite a bit of closure, because I don’t think he’s going to be anywhere near my daughter up in heaven.”
Cooper is the inspiration for the Ohio Department of Health’s Community-based Naloxone Overdose Reversal Project. Named “DAWN,” for Cooper — it also stands for Deaths Avoided with Naloxone. Nalaxone is a synthetic drug, similar to morphine, that blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system.
The owner of the pain clinic, Marshall Adkins, is also awaiting trial in that case.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.