Heartbroken mother wants drug dealers held responsible after son dies at San Bernardino music festival

Marcellina Rodriguez is heartbroken after her 27-year-old son, Eli Rodriguez, died from a drug death at a San Bernardino music festival Saturday.

Marcellina said her son, Eli, went with friends to the Nocturnal Wonderland festival, held at Glen Helen Regional Park. According to Marcellina, he either bought drugs or was given drugs at the event. The autopsy report is pending.

"From what I was told, he (Eli) was saying that he wasn't feeling right, that it wasn't normal and he passed away within minutes after that. [The medics] gave him that shot. They did whatever they could beyond the shot. They gave him life support and nothing brought him back. He was pronounced dead at the property of the event."

Marcellina describes her son as a loving man who was a "protector" of the people he cared for.  

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"He was a joy to be around. I'm not saying that because he was my son, but he was tender to me. He loved me," she said. "He would look at me with those eyes like pureness. He was just a loving and tender person."

Marcellina said because the autopsy has not been completed, she hasn't been able to see her son, and that breaks her heart.

"He's not coming home anymore so what do you do? As for me, I lean on God that I'll see him one day," she said.  

Marcellina believes the drugs were likely laced with fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is killing people at alarming rates. She wants parents to be aware.

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"[I want parents to] open their eyes wide and listen to know that it's a drug war against your children too, not just the fallen ones. To the parents who have lost their adult children and children to this drug war, they're not alone, and they shouldn't be ashamed. No matter how or what drug they took, it's not their fault," said Marcellina.

She believes the drug dealers, manufacturers and suppliers should all be held accountable.

"Who's making the labels? Who's providing the mixes for these drugs? Who is breaking it up, and putting it together? Who is lacing these candies and marijuana? Who is doing this? They're murdering our children," she said.

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The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department released a statement saying they are aware of an overdose at the festival and it is under investigation.

FOX 11 reached out to Nocturnal Wonderland for comment, but did not yet receive a response.

The family of Eli Rodriguez has created a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.