CARROLLTON, Mo. -- A 15-year-old boy named Danny Silva died on Tuesday, and his family says he had smoked a synthetic drug you can buy at some convenience stores.
The synthetic drug has several names: synthetic marijuana, K-2, fake bake, etc. But no matter what you call it, it's a combination of dangerous chemicals poured on leaves or even on tea bags and smoked to get a high. While marijuana is detected in a urine test, this fake stuff is not, which is why Danny’s family thinks he chose to smoke it instead of the real stuff
He was a ninth grader at Carrollton High School and a popular athlete. His mother says he had everything going for him until he died of cardiac arrest after smoking synthetic marijuana.
“We prayed and prayed and prayed, what seemed like forever before they come out to tell us they couldn't save him,” Amy Silva said.
Danny’s grandmother, Mary, said after getting a call that he needed help, she found her grandson at a neighbor’s house, sitting on the couch with his eyes partially open, lips blue, not breathing.
"My daughter and I shook him and shook him, and hitting him on his chest and trying to get him to wake up because I truly believed he was taking his last breaths,” Mary said.
This family is very familiar with the dangers of these types of drugs, but never thought it would be Danny who would end up dead of an overdose.
"I kind-of feel responsible,” said his brother, Kevin Mabry.
Mabry says he is an addict, and used to manufacture synthetic drugs, although he says he never smoked with his younger brother and it was not his stuff Danny smoked the day he died.
"At the same time I have the feeling if I had never brought it around then he wouldn't even know about it, or have a temptation in the world to do it,” Mabry said.
Mabry says he is done with drugs, both doing them and making them, and is speaking out so the same thing doesn’t happen to another promising teenager.
"Don't smoke it, it's not even worth it man,” he said. "The whole time I've ever smoked fake bake, like I said, God was going to kill me. He was going to punish me for my sins and what I was going to do, you know?"
Police say the laws are behind and they pretty much chase these synthetic drugs. When one chemical composition is outlawed, those who manufacture it just change the ingredients so it is no longer illegal.