Published On: Tue, Jun 29th, 2010

Police: Woman found unconscious in puddle of vomit after huffing dust remover

A 27-year-old Naples woman is facing a misdemeanor charge after police say they found her unconscious in a puddle of her own vomit after huffing dust remover late last week.

Elizabeth Ann Mckeever, of the 1100 block of Cherrystone Court, was charged with inhalation of harmful chemicals.

Jeffery Mark Korbel, 41, who was arranging for an exterminator in the home where Mckeever was renting a room, said he found her slumped in a chair on Friday afternoon with her eyes closed and a can of dust remover in her hand. When Korbel nudged her shoulder, he said Mckeever turned her head and squirted dust remover in her mouth.

He then called for help. Korbel said he knows Mckeever as an acquaintance after working with her at a telemarketing job a few years back.

“I had a sister that, maybe 15 years ago, overdosed in my apartment,” Korbel said. “It immediately reminded me of that.”

When a Naples police officer arrived, he found Mckeever in the fetal position in a chair, unconscious, unresponsive and in pain, according to an arrest report. She was clutching a can of dust remover and sitting in a puddle of her own vomit.

Mckeever was transported to the hospital for medical clearance, and then arrested. She said “she had consumed duster in an attempt to get high,” reports said.

“People that do this are absolutely taking their life into their own hands every time they do it,” Naples police spokesman Michael Herman said. “Huffing is something that only takes once to kill you.”

When reached for comment, Mckeever said that inhaling dust remover “won’t be a problem anymore.” She then hung up. She soon called back with another statement.

“Write this down and slap it on the front page, honey,” she said. “I would have no record at all if marijuana was legal.”

That does not appear to be exactly true, as Mckeever has been adjudicated guilty of several charges over the years, including: disorderly intoxication, battery, obstruction of an officer without violence, and DUI, according to Collier Court records.

Mckeever is not the first person to be arrested on huffing charges in Naples in recent years.

In March, Naples police arrested 37-year-old Jennifer Marie Fernandez after finding her passed out in a puddle of vomit behind an office supply store. A few weeks later Collier County sheriff’s deputies investigated the death of 34-year-old Ralph Edward Foss, who was found with a can of dust remover next to his body.

Foss’ ex-wife, Irina Longshore Foss, was arrested at least twice in Collier County in September 2008 on huffing charges.

Niki Jo Mortenson, was arrested twice in a week in Collier County in 2008 on huffing charges, and died in Texas in May 2009 after falling on the patio and hitting her head. Family members suspect she passed out after huffing.

Korbel said he is sorry that Mckeever was arrested.

“I didn’t want to see her get in trouble,” he said, “but I sure as heck didn’t want to see her die.”

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