BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WRAL-NBC) — Luana Gibbs referred to her son as the salt of the earth. But in an instant, everything changed.
She and her husband had received a frantic phone call from their daughter.
"She said, 'They're dead,' and we were just screaming," she said.
Cameron Gibbs had stopped by to check on her brother, 23-year-old Ryan Gibbs, and his girlfriend, 16-year-old Sarah Reams.
"When I touched Sarah, she was cold," Cameron Gibbs said through sobs. "I called 911, and I said, 'I think that my brother is dead.'"
Reams' sister, Jessica Gibbs, rushed to the scene and called her mom.
"She said, 'She's gone, Mom. She's gone,' and I just couldn't believe it," Reams' mother Judy Cox said.
"It still doesn't feel real," Jessica Gibbs said. "It doesn't feel like it hit us yet."
Investigators said the couple believed they were buying cocaine. Instead, they were sold heroin containing a large amount of a deadly synthetic opiate called fentanyl.