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Electric Zoo Deaths Caused by Drug Overdose and Overheating: Officials

By Janon Fisher | September 12, 2013 5:12pm
 Jeffrey Russ and Olivia Rotondo died of overheating and Ecstasy overdoes.
Ecstasy Overdose Caused Electric Zoo Deaths, Officials Say
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RANDALL'S ISLAND — The young man and young woman who died at the electronic music festival Electric Zoo last month overdosed on Ecstasy, the city's medical examiner's office announced Thursday.

Jeffrey Russ, 23, and Olivia Rotondo, 21, both overheated after taking too much of the rave drug, which is often known as Molly, on Saturday, Aug. 31, authorities said.

The city shut down the annual three-day festival a day early following the two deaths, and after four other concert-goers became critically ill.

Rotondo was an undergraduate studying communications at the University of New Hampshire, according to her Facebook page.

"She was the nicest girl I've ever had the pleasure of knowing," her friend, Noah Burkholz, told The New York Times.

Russ, who graduated from Syracuse University in 2012, went to the festival with two dozen of his former fraternity brothers, his father, John Russ, told the Times.

"He was a good son," John Russ told the paper.