A sophomore at Columbia University was reportedly found dead in his dorm room five days after overdosing on opioids.
The New York Post reported that Gage Bellitto, 19, was found dead on December 27, after his parents hadn’t heard from him for several days and contacted police. At the time, authorities believe that the college student died alone in his dorm room on December 22—where his body remained undiscovered for five days.
“I just couldn’t believe he was gone,” mother Kyle Bellitto said. “I still don’t believe it.”
Gage, who had an academic scholarship from Columbia, was supposed to be picked up by his mother for Christmas break on December 21. Kyle explained to the Daily Mail that she believed Gage was ignoring them because he was angry, something she said was normal behavior for him.
The heartbroken parents told the Mail that they were aware of Gage’s marijuana and alcohol use and knew that he was prescribed Vyvanse and Ritalin for ADHD. However, they said they didn’t know he was taking opioids, including painkillers and heroin.
“It was way worse than we had ever imagined,” his father Glenn Bellitto said. “It often isn’t what you see that’s deadly. It’s what you don’t see.”
Friends said Gage was known to use drugs in high school but hid it from his parents.
“Cocaine was really big for him,” said Will Rabsey, 19, who attended elementary, middle, and high school with Gage. “I remember a few times he’d put a line out and I’d say, ‘Damn, Gage, that’s a lot.’ He’d say, ‘No, no I’ve done this before. I can handle it.’ ”
People who lived in the same building claimed the teen’s drug use worsened during his first semester at Columbia, causing him to health and weight to decline. In October, Gage allegedly collapsed in his dorm and was rushed to the hospital. There, doctors found he had a “dangerous mix of drugs,” but Gage refused to sign release papers nor enter an inpatient program that could’ve saved his life.
Police are investigating where and how Gage got the deadly mix of drugs. As of now, police believe they were obtained illegally.
[Featured Image: Gage Bellitto/Facebook]