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70-year-old Baltimore woman's death ruled a homicide by narcotic poisoning; daughter believes she was drugged

After a 70-year-old Baltimore woman died in July from what police say was narcotic poisoning, relatives are still awaiting answers on whether she was drugged.

When authorities found Gloria Johnson unresponsive with no signs of trauma in her home on East Preston Street in the Eastern District on July 13, detectives initially called Johnson’s death suspicious. Homicide detectives conducted an investigation.

On July 30, the state medical examiner’s office ruled Johnson’s death a homicide caused by narcotic poisoning, police said Friday. Det. Niki Fennoy, a Baltimore Police spokeswoman, said Johnson died from a “combination of heroin and fentanyl," and it wasn’t an intentional poisoning.

Still, Wendi Boswell said she believes her mother — who she said was not an active drug user — was drugged and robbed. Boswell said her mother's friend witnessed a man run out her apartment moments before she became medically distressed.

Fennoy declined to comment, citing an open investigation.

"This is killing me. This is killing our family," Boswell said, fighting back tears on the telephone from Miami, where she lives. "My mother was genuine. She was sincere. She gave to everybody."

Johnson attended Edmondson High School in Baltimore and worked at Black & Decker, Montebello Rehabilitation Center and the Noxell Corp., according to an online obituary at March Life Tribute Centers.

Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the medical examiner's office, said he could not discuss why Johnson's death was ruled a homicide.

"We can't discuss a case that's under investigation," he said.

Detectives will consult with prosecutors on how to proceed with the case, police said.

Anyone with information regarding the homicide investigation is asked to call detectives at (410) 396-2100, Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP, or text a tip to 443-902-4824.

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