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Ex-North Las Vegas firefighter charged in wife’s overdose death

Updated July 8, 2021 - 5:28 pm

A former North Las Vegas firefighter has been charged with second-degree murder in the 2020 drug overdose death of his wife in Henderson.

The Henderson Police Department said detectives and investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Las Vegas office arrested Christopher Candito, 33, on Wednesday in the death of Tiffany Slatsky, 25, from Feb. 23, 2020.

Slatsky was found unconscious on the 800 block of Coronado Center Drive, near South Eastern Avenue and St. Rose Parkway, at 8:58 a.m. that day. She later died at a hospital, police said.

An arrest warrant for Candito, issued Tuesday, alleges that in 2019 he and another city firefighter purchased morphine capsules, MDMA, cocaine, mushrooms, oxycodone, ketamine and Xanax to distribute at a party. On Feb. 21, 2020, police said, Candito and Slatsky attended an all-night party with fellow North Las Vegas firefighters.

The couple continued to drink and consume morphine capsules, leading to Slatsky’s overdose, police said.

Police said Candito drove his wife 23 miles to a North Las Vegas fire station, where he took about $45 worth of medical supplies, including Narcan, Zofran and an IV.

“Candito entered into the structure with the intent to obtain … Narcan and other medical supplies, that he then administered to Slatsky while attempting to conceal her condition from licensed and on duty medical personnel,” police said in the warrant.

The next day, a friend of Slatsky’s called 911 to report she was not breathing.

The Clark County coroner’s office said Thursday that Slatsky died from multiple drug intoxication, including MDMA, morphine, phentermine, etizolam, cocaine and zolpidem. Her death was ruled an accident.

Investigators tied Candito and the other firefighter, who had not been charged as of Thursday, to the drug purchases based on Venmo transactions and texts. Police said the messages in their transactions included “morphine 60mg pills,” “morphine” and “kadian” and the two texted pictures of morphine, discussing Candito’s plan to purchase 89 pills.

He later told first responders his wife took at least three morphine tablets in an hour before he drove her to the fire station. He reportedly claimed the hospital would not admit her if she was breathing.

Child Protective Services determined Slatsky’s home, where the pair were ingesting drugs after the party, was unsafe for the woman’s 4-year-old, who was present while a group was consuming morphine. Uncapped needles, loose pills and prescription bottles were found scattered through the home. Candito said he did not call the police “because of the drugs in the house,” police said.

Candito is scheduled for an arraignment Tuesday in Henderson Justice Court.

City of North Las Vegas spokesman Patrick Walker confirmed Candito is a former firefighter for the city and issued a statement: “These off duty events are contrary to the values of the City and its employees. In addition to fully cooperating with law enforcement officials, the City immediately initiated its own investigations into this tragic incident and placed the former firefighter on administrative leave. He later resigned.”

Candito had been employed by the North Las Vegas Fire Department since 2010, according to public records.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter. Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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