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Authorities say teen overdosed on 'date rape' drug

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) -- A 14-year-old Northern California girl who died during a sleepover party last summer overdosed on a chemical found in so-called "date rape" drugs, but it's unclear how she got the drug, authorities said.

Takeimi Rao died in July from drinking a fatal dose of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid or GHB, which has become popular among young people at dance clubs and raves, Sonoma County Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said Tuesday.

Investigators are still trying to determine whether the Santa Rosa teen ingested the drug intentionally or accidentally. GHB is found in some industrial cleaning solvents.

Authorities initially believed the teenager may have died of alcohol poisoning or choked on her vomit after drinking vodka with three friends at Rao's home.

Inside the home, investigators found a partially empty bottle of vodka and a plastic water bottle the girls used to drink alcohol, said Assistant Sheriff Lorenzo Duenas told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Through their attorney, Erik Bruce, Rao's parents suggested the girls may have accidentally ingested a cleaning solvent, which they thought was vodka.

"Either they got a hold of the drug from someone else, or the only other option is they got into something accidentally," Bruce told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Rao's friend told investigators they weren't aware they were drinking GHB, O'Leary said. Detectives will check into whether the GHB could be connected to a solvent.

"We've interviewed everybody who was present. At this point no one ... gave us any information about where it came from," O'Leary said.

The test results were released almost seven months after Rao was found dead in her bedroom on July 10. The A-student had recently finished eighth grade at Rincon Valley Middle School in Santa Rosa.