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Family blames death on ‘bath salts’

Family blames death on ‘bath salts’
Family blames death on ‘bath salts’
A Corydon manÂ’s family blames the 25-year-oldÂ’s death on this type of product, a synthetic cocaine. (click for larger version)

The family of a Corydon man is grieving after the 25-year-old husband and father allegedly hung himself while strung out on a product ‘ one that’s currently legal to buy ‘ that’s been described as synthetic cocaine.
Travis Cundiff’s body was found in a barn at about 6:20 Monday morning, when the property owner, who was not identified, checked the property before departing for work, said Harrison County Coroner Rusty Sizemore.
Cundiff’s family says he had purchased a white powder labeled as Banshee at Little 2 Foot in Corydon.
The product, labeled as bath salts and manufactured in the United States, sells for $24.99 plus tax for 1/2 gram.
Harrison County Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye said that’s almost as expensive as actual cocaine, which has a street value of about $45 per 1/2 gram.
Also labeled by other names, such as Scar Face, Seelye talked with the gas station’s owner Monday afternoon. The owner agreed to pull the product, which, according to the coroner, may be linked to at least two other deaths in Harrison County. Sizemore won’t have definitive proof until autopsy results are back.
Sizemore said an autopsy for Cundiff was scheduled for late yesterday afternoon (Tuesday).
Seelye was given one packet of the bath salts to use in a toxicology screen.
The voluntary pulling of the product won’t help the Cundiff family, but, on Monday, they were seeking to get the product banned, a move that is in the works by Harrison County officials, as well as the state legislature. It already has been banned in Florida, Louisiana and North Dakota.
‘They need to do something about this stuff,’ said Travis’ father, Gary Cundiff.
He said his son made his latest purchase Sunday.
‘He didn’t think it was that bad,’ as Travis had improperly used the product before, his father said.
But, Travis’ reaction to the chemical this time was severe.
‘He was so out of it,’ the elder Cundiff said. ‘It makes you real paranoid; you think people are out to get you.’
Travis Cundiff ended up at his father’s residence. His father called the Indiana State Police to seek help.
‘I was told they couldn’t do anything, that he had to voluntarily commit himself,’ Gary Cundiff said. ‘I was trying to keep him safe.’
Before his son left his father’s home Sunday afternoon, he ‘was crawling on the floor, saying there’s people out there’ after him, his father said.
The grief-stricken father described his son as ‘a follower’ who wasn’t perfect ‘ ‘he liked to party and smoke pot’ ‘ but he had begun working about four months ago at Tyson Foods in Corydon. He was trying to provide for his family, which included his wife, 3-year-old son and a stepson.
‘My kids are hard workers; they were raised good,’ said Gary Cundiff, who buried another son, 22-year-old Quinnan Lee (JoJo) Cundiff, in 2006.
The elder Cundiff estimated that Travis had been using the synthetic drug for about a month.
‘He wasn’t a drug addict,’ he said.
The Cundiff family has a message for anyone who is using this synthetic cocaine or a similar product, like K2 or Spice, which is a synthetic marijuana, or may be considering using these items in some way that’s different from their intended purposes.
‘I would tell them not to try it,’ Gary Cundiff said. ‘They could come over here and see my two kids in the graveyard.’
As for the company that manufactures these products, Cundiff said, ‘They don’t care about whose life they tear up, the people who’s going to die after my son. It’s all about that dollar.’