Report: Pharmacy drugs killed shelter guest |

Report: Pharmacy drugs killed shelter guest

A 25-year-old Folsom construction worker found dead at Hospitality House had a mixture of several over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceutical drugs in his system, a toxicology report revealed this week.

Nicholas Foster’s death appeared to be an accidental overdose, Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Evans said.

“He basically put himself to sleep and never woke up,” he said.

Foster had more than seven drugs in his system – including Vicodin, Valium, methadone, codeine, an antihistamine and two types of muscle relaxants – police said.

Foster’s father, Don Foster, of Folsom, said Thursday his son had been suffering from walking pneumonia, poison oak and an enlarged bladder at the time of his death, and he may have been taking over-the-counter drugs to treat his symptoms.

Methorphan, the synthetic codeine found in Foster’s system, is commonly found in cold and cough medicine, Evans said.

Don Foster said his son had prescriptions for Vicodin and Valium. He does not know why methadone was in his blood, he said.

Nicholas Foster had kicked a methamphetamine habit two years before his death, his father said. He did not smoke cigarettes or marijuana, and he did not drink, the elder Foster added.

Don Foster, also a construction worker with longtime family ties to Grass Valley, said he and his family were devastated by the news of Foster’s sudden death in April.

“It was a very sad knock at the door,” Foster said. He had been to Grass Valley just days before his son’s death to spend time with him.

The two often camped and explored the rural and downtown areas of Nevada County. They also worked on construction jobs together.

Nicholas Foster stood 6-feet, 7-inches tall, with “hands larger than (boxing champion) George Foreman’s,” his father said.

He described his son as a “gentle giant, without a mean bone in his body.”

The younger Foster had been staying at Hospitality House to save money, and he was planning to begin work soon at a construction job, his father said.

Foster said his son also was planning to “settle down” at a residence May 1 in Grass Valley. A landlord had approved his rental application, the grieving father said.

“Our son is with God above and in our prayers daily,” Foster said. “He is missed and loved by hundreds of family members and friends.”


To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail or call 477-4236.

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