Two asylum seekers, both from Venezuela, were found dead outside a Brooklyn migrant shelter around 8:30 am on Thursday, June 1. The cause was an apparent drug overdose. The men were said to be close friends who had come to the US to help relatives left back home in Venezuela. The men, ages 24 and 25, were found in a parked Nissan Sentra outside the Jefferson, a six-story commercial building that was opened in March to house migrants
The 25-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. The 24-year-old man was rushed to Woodhall Hospital, but he did not survive, according to police.
Friends of the men at the shelter were saddened by the news. “They were both excellent people ... and wanted to get ahead, to help their families,” their mourning friend and fellow migrant Jolfrank Hernandez, 31, told the Daily News on Saturday.
“[He] came to this country for a dream,” said Andres, 27, about one of the victims he befriended at the migrant shelter where they lived. “He had many goals ... A kind, happy person and also a fighter.”
“[They] were good boys,” said migrant and friend Jose Martinez, 28, also of Venezuela. “Good friends. Humble workers. Unfortunately, they lost their lives.”
Hernandez does not believe the men had taken drugs. “No, they weren’t on drugs,” he said. “They were just drinking liquor and the next day they woke up dead."
According to police, drug paraphernalia was discovered inside the car. The city's Medical Examiner will determine the cause of the men's deaths.
The passing of these men brings the total number of migrants who have died after coming to New York to four in the past nine months. Two immigrants, including a Colombian mother of two, committed suicide after arriving.