In the eyes of their friends and family, 20-year-old Christian Kent and 23-year-old Michelle Avila had always seemed like the perfect couple and someone to aspire to.
While the Orange County surf- and the adventure-loving couple appeared to be enjoying the life to the fullest, their closest allies were shocked when they found them dead, side-by-side, in the girl’s childhood bedroom.
Allegedly, the lovers, who were often compared to Romeo and Juliet, died of drug overdose. They were last seen returning from a friend’s party on October 15, half an hour past midnight, and were found dead at around 4 pm that same day.
According to the girl’s parents, Paulo and Adriana Avila, the couple were mildly sick that day and didn’t drink alcohol during the party due to taking antibiotics.
“Two beautiful kids. It was like Romeo and Juliet,” Paulo told Coast Report Online. “They both died and they were hugging each other.”
While it will take some time for the toxicology reports to be finished, Paulo and the police are certain that drug overdose was responsible for their death.
“What happened to those kids? What did they do? What happened to get to that point?” are the questions that Paulo is finding hard to answer.
Michelle, who was a star student and an avid traveler, was planning to transfer to California State University together with her boyfriend.
Following her trips to Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, and Costa Rica, the girl planned on becoming a journalist just like her sister.
“She was going to follow her sister. She loved writing, she loved to write, she loved speech,” Paulo said. “She was an old soul. Always with her coffee, her writing, poems, her pictures, her words,” Adriana added.
Michelle, who frequently shared her adventures with her Instagram buddies, wrote a touching tribute to her partner in August.
“Today I had to say goodbye for now, to my best friend and partner in crime,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I remember the day you came into my work, smiled at me with those eyes and asked me for my number. You found me at just the right time, and life has been one hell of a ride since!
“It’s crazy how two souls can connect so deeply and quickly. You are so special and smart and gonna kill it at university!”
A month prior to the couple’s death, Michelle wrote another loving tribute to Christian. It read:
“Waking up next to you is such a good feeling. Like all my worries and problems have drifted far away, and the only thing that matters is being in your arms and enjoying the moment as much as I can because I know it won’t last. Something I have learned is how to enjoy the now, because nothing in life lasts.”
Now, after being forced to deal with their unexpected death, the grieving family and friends decided to speak out as well.
“I wish I could yell at you and tell you how hard it has been,” Nicole, Michelle’s sister, wrote on what was supposed to be Michelle’s 24th birthday.
“You’re supposed to care for what God gave you, and she was God’s gift. That’s what’s eating me, from inside out. How come I failed? It just destroys me,” Paulo said.
According to the Orange County Health Agency, drug overdose is a serious issue in the region. Allegedly, 7 out of 10 overdose deaths between the years 2011 and 2015 were a result of opioids.
“Parents need to know their kids are not safe,” Paulo warned. “This is the proof that what looks perfect, is not perfect. My mission is to send a message. To show how beautiful people can go through something like that. You’re protected by nothing.”
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