A Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife were found dead in their home by their four children this week in what officials believe may have been an accidental overdose.
Brian Halye, 36, and his wife Courtney Halye, 34, were found unresponsive Thursday in their Centerville, Ohio home after two of their children called 911.
In 911 recordings obtained by NBC News, the children told the operator they woke up for school and found the couple on the floor.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s office said the official cause of death is pending a toxicology report, but preliminary examinations are consistent with an accidental overdose. Ken Betz, the director of the coroner’s office, said while the specific cause is not being released, it is so far consistent with what officials in the area have seen in fentanyl, carfentanil and heroin overdoses.
The area has seen a record number of overdoses in January and February this year, Betz said.
Spirit Airlines confirmed Brian Halye was a pilot for the airline for nine years. He took his last flight on March 10, less than a week before his death.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Captain Halye,” the airline said in a statement.
The company added that “Spirit Airlines is required by Federal Law and by its own internal standards, which exceed federal standards, to operate with the highest degree of care for the safety of the traveling public.”
“The DOT and FAA regulations require that the airline conduct pre-employment and random drug and alcohol tests on employees in designated safety-sensitive positions such as pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers,” the statement continued. “Spirit Airlines remains compliant with DOT and FAA regulations for drug and alcohol testing for these safety-sensitive positions. Anyone who tests positive is immediately removed from their position.”
Nancy Casey, 51, the mother of Courtney Halye, told NBC News she spoke with her daughter on the day she died and sensed something was out of sorts.
“I had this dreadful feeling all day. Something was off with her and something was off with him,” Casey said.
Casey’s 11-year-old granddaughter found the couple the next morning, she said. The girl heard an alarm going off and went in the couple’s room where she found Brian Halye on the bed, unmoving.
“She saw his face and it looked all white and pale and she knew something was wrong,” Casey said. She then went to wake up her mother, and when she couldn’t, authorities were called.
Casey said the couple’s death is a shock to her entire family and the community they lived in.
Casey noted the couple had been married for four years and each had two children from a previous marriage. She described her daughter as “a light in a room,” who was “very loved.”
“People would talk about this aura she had,” Casey said.
Casey said her daughter had type 1 diabetes and took insulin shots multiple times a day. She acknowledged her daughter had issues in the past with depression and was on medication then, but didn’t believe her daughter was an addict.
“They just got back from a cruise and I don’t know if they wanted the party to continue or something but I just don’t know,” she said.