TULSA, Okla. - Three times in recent months people have died at a drug treatment facility in southeastern Oklahoma under circumstances that remain under investigation.
Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns tells KRMG his office has launched an investigation into all three deaths, including that of a young Owasso woman who died there last month.
Stacy Murphy, 20, had just returned to the facility after a home visit.
Investigators say she apparently died of a drug overdose, but family members want to know how she could have remained undiscovered for hours.
Sheriff Kerns tells KRMG he believes the facility needs to have medical staff on site at all times.
"It's the same as my facility that I run here," he said. "To deal with these type of people that's addicted to these types of drugs, you have to furnish medical care to them."
He says he's awaiting toxicology reports on all three cases.
Beside Murphy, who died July 19, Kerns' office is also investigating the deaths of Hillary Holten, 21, of Carrollton, Texas, who died April 11 and Gabriel Graves, 32, also of Owasso, who died Oct. 26, 2011.
Narconon bases its drug-treatment philosophy on teachings of the Church of Scientology.
KRMG also has learned that Sen. Tom Ivester, a Democrat, plans to propose legislation to regulate the practices of drug treatment facilities.
Friday, Ivester issued a statement saying he believes the state should strictly regulate Narconon Arrowhead and similar facilities.