Michelle Avila, 23, and Christian Kent were Newport Beach natives who were found dead from a drug overdose in Avila’s childhood bedroom.
The couple was found dead on October 15, 2018. The night before their deaths they were at a friend’s party. Michelle was taking antibiotics for a cold and did not drink, recalls her parents Paulo and Adriana Avila.
Her mother said that when the couple got home they told her goodnight and Michelle laid out her clothes for her next shift at the Newport Beach coffee shop. Hours later Adriana found them both dead in Michelle’s room.
According to the OC Register, the couple dated for about a year before passing. They both grew up in Newport, but Christian went to college in San Diego and Michelle attended Orange Coast College. She was studying communications.
Her parents never knew about Michelle’s drug use and were blindsided by her overdose. “I’d rather have an addicted person where I could see and try to fix it,” Paulo told the OC Register. “Other than to have trust in someone and never expect…that’s why we’re so devasted, there were no signs. Zero signs.”
The couple were both surfers and loved the water. Michelle’s ashes were spread in Hawaii and hundreds of people participated in a “paddle out” at Newport Beach in honor of Christian.
The day after her death, Michelle’s sister Nicole posted on Michelle’s Instagram announcing her death. “I am shaken and heartbroken to announce that as of Sunday morning, Michelle and her boyfriend Christian have passed away,” her sister wrote. “My family and I are sticking together through this difficult time and we are awaiting the official news of how everything happened. We are seeing everyone’s messages and we appreciate all the love and prayers.”
The toxicology report has yet to be finished so it’s unclear what drug or drugs cost Michelle and Christian’s lives. Michelle’s parents plan on using the funds from Michelle’s GoFundMe to start a program to educate the younger generation about drug use.
“This is the proof that what looks perfect, is not perfect,” Paulo said. “My mission, at least on my coast from Seal Beach to San Clemente, is to send a message. To show how beautiful people can go through something like that. You’re protected by nothing.”