Skip to Content

Fentanyl case leads to historic murder conviction in California county struggling with overdoses


Click here for updates on this story

    ROSEVILLE (KOVR) — A win against the fentanyl crisis.

The Placer County District Attorney’s office announced Friday a drug dealer is convicted of murder after he sold drugs to a Roseville teenager last summer.

While monumental, District Attorney Morgan Gire said it is far from a celebration.

“There is no closure,” he said. “This is a family who is dealing with the loss of a teenaged girl.”

Deadly fentanyl overdoses have led to charges for manslaughter, but a second-degree murder conviction is not common.

“Not every case gets charged this way,” Gire said. “In fact, of the hundreds of overdoses and poisoning that we’ve had, we’ve had four people charged.”

The charges come after what has been described as an explosion of fentanyl use by kids in the county, which started around the height of the pandemic.

According to officials, a grim reality reveals fentanyl is the number one cause of death among people between 18-45 years old.

Placer County is no exception.

In 2020, 24 Placer County residents died from fentanyl poisoning with nearly half of them under 25 years old. The result? A 700 percent increase from 2019.

Zach Didier’s family said he died more than two-and-a-half years ago from a fake pill. His parents’ mission is to make sure no family feels their pain again.

“Awareness and education are probably the biggest tool in our tool bag so we can get to the kids,” said Chris Didier, the father.

Yet, a 15-year-old Roseville girl died June 2022, according to prosecutors.

Through a digital trail, investigators learned 21-year-old Nathaniel Cabacungan sold to the teen.

When the defendant plead guilty, Laura Didier stood in court with the teen’s family.

The mother immediately shared her gratitude with her.

“She just wanted to express her gratitude to this team at placer county, the investigative team, the prosecutorial team for bringing justice for his daughter,” Laura Didier said.

Cabacungan’s sentencing date is scheduled for Aug. 16.

The landmark win is just the beginning for prosecutors.

“It’s not worth losing the life of your customer and it’s certainly not worth the risk of losing your life by being prosecuted and by possibly facing a life sentence,” Gire said. “So don’t do it, and certainly don’t do it in Placer County.”

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content