ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A toxic cocktail is surfacing on the streets of Albuquerque. It's legal, cheap and easy to get, but it can also be lethal.
It's made up of mouthwash and hand sanitizer, and the Albuquerque Police Department is linking at least two deaths to the potent drink.
On Feb. 21 a woman was found dead at Fifth Street NW and Marquette Avenue in downtown Albuquerque. The exact the cause of death remains under investigation, but APD says two bottles of mouthwash were found at the scene.
Nearby on March 20 Kennard Chee, 42, was found dead at a bloody scene in the 500 block of Roma Avenue NW. The suspects, Donald Domingo, Andrew Kinlichinniee and Kenneth Tortolita all face murder charges.
Investigators say the trio told them they had been doing mouthwash and hand sanitizer shots that day. All of the men are believed to be homeless.
During the annual survey of the homeless population in Albuquerque, officers noticed a lot of empty bottles of mouthwash and hand sanitizer. They say the products are available 24 hours a day and not controlled like alcohol, which are sold during limited hours and by law can't be sold to someone who is already intoxicated.
Alcohol is also kept behind the counter at convenience stores or gas stations.
APD says it will start educating convenience stores and other businesses asking them to move the mouthwash and sanitizers.
One 8-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer with 63 percent alcohol content is equivalent to about five shots of hard liquor. Many sanitizers have fragrance and even flavoring.
APD's concern goes beyond the homeless population. Because there is such easy access to mouthwash and sanitizer, they're concerned kids will also start dabbling in the deadly drink.
Health effects from the drink include diarrhea, memory loss and even blindness and irreversible organ damage.
Closing arguments in a right-to-die case wrapped up just before noon in an Albuquerque courtroom.
College students are steaming ahead toward their winter break, but crime on campus could spike as more students will be gone.
An overnight fire consumed a garage at a home on Albuquerque's West Side.
A few tips on how to prevent thieves from taking your stuff over Winter Break, a look at the right to die trial, and other stories with Matt Mauro, Elizabeth Mauro and weather with Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
Some Cleveland High School students say a traffic plan for getting them out of school forces them to take a dangerous and tricky left turn onto a 55 mph road, something parents and staff don't have to do.
They are two coaches building their respective football programs.