Orange county couple described as 'Romeo and Juliet' die hugging each other in apparent drug overdose

23-year-old Michelle Avila and 20-year-old Christian Kent died in the former's childhood bedroom from an apparent opioid overdose

                            Orange county couple described as 'Romeo and Juliet' die hugging each other in apparent drug overdose

An Orange County couple whose friends and family thought they couldn't have been happier with life were tragically found dead in the girl's childhood bedroom. While the cause of death has not been confirmed, preliminary investigations suggest they passed away from a drug overdose.

According to the Daily Mail, Newport Beach natives 23-year-old Michelle Avila and 20-year-old Christian Kent died on October 14 last month after the pair attended a party the previous night at a mutual friend's place, where they may have gotten access to the drugs.

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Both had also apparently been sick with a cold and were taking antibiotics, and Michelle is said to have promised her parents, Paulo and Adriana Avila, that she would not be drinking at the party that night. The parents believed her, claiming their daughter was not one to "party too much".

The party went by without incident and both Michelle and Christian made it back to the former's home at around 12:30 a.m. Michelle even made time to wish her mother 'good night' and lay out the clothes for her 6 a.m. shift at a Newport Beach coffee shop where she worked, but that would be the last time the couple would be seen alive.

Adrianna left for work the next morning like any other day. Unknown to her, both Michelle and Christian had passed away in her bed. She would not be aware of their deaths until she came back home that evening at 4 p.m. and found them unresponsive in their beds.

The family said that Michelle had met Christian at the coffee shop where she worked. He asked her for her number, she obliged, and things moved quickly from there. The couple was very much in love, and Michelle would often post pictures of them on her Instagram page, showcasing what appeared to be a picture-perfect relationship.

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She would also often pay tribute to her boyfriend, writing one in August in light of him leaving for college, "Today I had to say goodbye for now, to my best friend and partner in crime. I remember the day you came into my work, smiled at me with those eyes and asked me for my number. You found me at just the right time, and life has been one hell of a ride since! It's crazy how two souls can connect so deeply and quickly. You are so special and smart and gonna kill it at university!"

Michelle herself had been an excellent student as well and had even received a letter from President George W. Bush recognizing her academic achievements. While she had spent the last few years traveling across countries like Bali, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Japan, and Brazil, she had planned to study communications at Orange Coast college and becoming a journalist.

Paulo paid tribute to the couple, telling Coast Report Online, "Two beautiful kids. It was like Romeo and Juliet. They both died and they were hugging each other." Michelle's sister similarly wrote, "I wish I could yell at you and tell you how hard it has been."

But their death has left the family with more questions than answers. While the suspicion is that they died of a drug overdose, toxicology reports will take months to complete. Speaking to the Orange County Register, Paulo said, "What happened to those kids? What did they do? What happened to get to that point?"

"You're supposed to care for what God gave you, and she was God's gift," he added. "That's what's eating me, from inside out. How come I failed? It just destroys me."

Their death also puts the spotlight back on the opioid problem that's been plaguing Orange County — the Mail reports there has been an 88% increase in drug overdose in the county between 2000 and 2015, with half of those coming from accidental prescription drug overdoses. 

Michelle's friends have set up a GoFundMe page that Paulo hopes to use to start a program to educate young people about drug abuse. The page has raised $7,337 of a possible $10,000 goal at the time of writing.