The former Old Orchard Beach town councilor and a Saco woman who were found dead together in January accidentally overdosed on the powerful synthetic opiate fentanyl, the state medical examiner said Wednesday.

Amber Morrow, 21, and Dana Furtado, 44, were found Jan. 23 in Furtado’s home on Cascade Road.

Toxicology testing on Morrow showed the presence of fentanyl, alcohol and diphenhydramine, the chemical name for Benadryl, in her bloodstream.

Furtado’s toxicology results showed fentanyl and alcohol.

Andrew Morrow, Amber Morrow’s father, said the Medical Examiner’s Office found no evidence that the substances were injected, and that it was likely that they snorted the drug.

It was unclear whether Morrow and Furtado knew the substance was pure fentanyl and contained no heroin. Fentanyl, a painkiller up to 50 times as powerful as heroin, is sometimes mixed with or sold as heroin.

Andrew Morrow, a professional emergency medical technician, said he knew that his daughter had experimented with drugs in the past, and had checked her for needle marks.

Amber Morrow, who was transgender, dealt with years of pain and rejection, her family has said previously.

“She wasn’t an addict,” Andrew Morrow said. “She experimented, I knew that, but it wasn’t a chronic thing.”

The fact that fentanyl and other synthetic opiates are sold as heroin make even occasional use or experimentation potentially lethal.

“People don’t even know what they’re getting, and then if they’re trying to get heroin and it’s not even heroin, it’s basically playing Russian roulette,” Andrew Morrow said.

Furtado’s ex-wife, Sherrie Nadeau, declined to comment when reached Wednesday.

The deaths of Furtado and Morrow shocked people who knew them.

Furtado left behind two children.

After his death, dozens of longtime friends, colleagues and acquaintances remembered Furtado as a dedicated public servant, frequent community volunteer and loving father. He had operated D.M. Furtado and Daughter, a roofing and construction company, since 1997.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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