COUNCILLORS and residents have reacted with "shock" after an investigation was launched into two “unexplained” deaths which have been linked to class A drugs.

Essex Police says the deaths were reported in Avon Way, Greenstead, Colchester, on Saturday and Sunday.

“We are treating the deaths as unexplained but not suspicious,” the force’s community policing team in Colchester said on social media on Sunday evening.

“Next of kin are being supported by specialist officers in each case and files are being prepared for the coroner.”

Tim Young, Colchester councillor for Greenstead, has been left devastated by the news of the two deaths in his ward.

He said: "This is very shocking, I'm really taken aback by it. Greenstead has been quite a safe area recently, so this is a shame.

"Any residents who have any information on the incident should reach out and contact Crimestoppers with information."

Elizabeth Alake-Akinyemi, a church pastor who was recently elected councillor for Greenstead after receiving 1,150 votes, urged anyone battling drug issues to seek support.

She said: "One death is bad, but two deaths in the same area so soon after one another is terrible.

"We hope people with addiction can get help before it gets to this point in future to stop these incidents from reoccurring."

Gazette: Elizabeth Alake-AkinyemiElizabeth Alake-Akinyemi (Image: Newsquest)
Nearby residents reported seeing paramedics and forensics officers at the scene around the time the deaths were reported.

One resident, who lives in Charles Pell Road, said he saw the emergency services descend on the scene.

He said: “On Saturday there were two ambulances and a paramedic car and then three undercover police cars.

“It was then all cordoned off.”

A worker at a convenience store at the nearby Hunwicke Shopping Centre said she believes she knew one of the two people who have died.

She said: “I believe he was potentially a customer who would regularly come into the shop.

“They were recently placed in Colchester after previously living in Southend."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Essex Police by calling 101 or using the force's online report system by visiting

Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.