PEORIA — The Peoria County sheriff is asking the public for more help combatting a deadly outbreak of severe bleeding due to synthetic marijuana.

Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell pleaded at a Tuesday news conference, “Please, please, anyone with information please contact us.” Illinois Department of Public Health statistics show Peoria County and neighboring Tazewell County have 66 of the 114 reported cases statewide as of Tuesday afternoon. Three people in Illinois have died.

The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that the sheriff said authorities want to know where the product is coming from. He says police are looking for dealers, not users. Asbell says health privacy laws are complicating investigations because they prevent hospitals from calling police when someone comes in for treatment.

The Illinois outbreak started in early March.


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