Teen indicted in the fentanyl death of a 15-year-old featured on Grieving Out Loud podcast episode

PIERRE, S.D. – An 18-year-old Yankton, South Dakota man has been indicted in the fentanyl-overdose death of a 15-year-old featured in a Grieving Out Loud podcast episode. Kelcy Orr died after taking what she thought was a prescription pill, but it ended up being a deadly dose of fentanyl.

According to South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, 18-year-old Evan Nelson has been indicted on three felony counts, including distribution of a controlled substance to a minor resulting in death. If found guilty, Nelson faces up to life in prison.

“This arrest comes after months of extensive investigations by state and local law enforcement and prosecutors,” said Jackley. “This tragic case and the loss of a 15-year-old victim demonstrates the seriousness and dangers of fentanyl.”

Orr’s parents found their daughter dead in her bedroom on December 23, 2023.

“I just held her. I kept saying, ‘Why?’” Kelcy’s mom, Jenny Orr, said. “Right beside her was a little baggie with four blue pills. Her friend told us that she watched her take that pill the night before. She fell asleep while she was on the phone with her.”

Jenny and her husband Jim shared their daughter’s story as part of National Fentanyl Awareness Day on May 7th. They hope to prevent other fentanyl deaths.

“Fentanyl–one pill can kill. You never know what’s out there,” Jim said.

“This invisible thing called fentanyl took away all of our hopes and her hopes and dreams at 15 years old,” Jenny said. “My child serves a purpose still. Our story is here to help so no one else has to go through this.”