On Sunday members of the Maries County Sheriff's Office responded to the Union Hill Baptist Church located on Highway 42 for a break-in. After further investigation it was discovered that a male subject from Owensville, who had been released from the Maries County Jail the night before, had broken out the window of the church then kicked in the back door.
The male subject had vented the propane tank and he was huffing the expelling propane. It appeared as if the male subject had passed out while huffing the propane and it was still venting in his facial region. The male subject was pronounced dead at the scene by the Maries County Coroner.
"Huffing," or inhaling volatile substances, is becoming increasingly popular among children, especially among 12- to 14-year-olds (Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 1998;152(8):781--786), and adults. Huffing can kill the very first time someone experiments with it. Alarmingly, about 17% of eighth-graders report having done it (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2004). It is a cheaper "high" for drug users, but it is a very deadly high. Additionally, this type of drug abuse is hard to stop or make arrests for, because cannot outlaw propane or other inhalants.