Duluth man guilty in Cloquet native's overdose death
The 22-year-old, recently married victim was found to have died from a mixture that the defendant described as "blackout strong."
VIRGINIA — A Duluth man admitted Monday to supplying the drugs that killed a Cloquet native in Hoyt Lakes in January 2022.
Carter Ryan Galo, 26, pleaded guilty to a third-degree murder charge in the overdose death of Korryn Elizabeth Lee Sorenson-Brock, 22.
Sorenson's death was attributed to the effects of fentanyl, a highly potent painkiller, and etizolam, an anxiety and insomnia drug, according to court documents. Investigators said they found text messages and financial records confirming that Galo was a regular supplier of controlled substances to the victim.
Galo already has multiple felony convictions for prior drug sales and is currently serving prison time at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.
According to a criminal complaint:
Sorenson was pronounced dead at a Hoyt Lakes apartment on Jan. 29, 2022, after her husband reported that she was not breathing and had possibly overdosed. A fentanyl patch was located on her back and an autopsy found that there was no evidence of a natural disease or trauma that would have caused her death.
The victim's cellphone showed that she had been in regular contact with Galo since April 2021, and that drug sales were "the extent of their association." Her husband also was not aware of her having any other suppliers.
Sorenson had texted Galo on Jan. 26 asking for "bars," which investigators said is slang for Xanax. Galo responded that he only had a few but suggested he could mix "clam," or Clonazolam, with etizolam to "make it even stronger." Sorenson responded, "omg please," and asked how strong it would be.
"Incredibly strong," Galo replied. "Blackout strong; you'd have to take it drop by drop."
They agreed on a price of $100 per bottle and made plans to meet at Galo's Bayview Heights home, as she owed him $200 from a past transaction. Banking records confirmed that Sorenson sent two $100 payments to Galo on the afternoon of Jan. 27, and also inquired by text whether he had any additional vials.
Sorenson's husband told investigators that they returned to Hoyt Lakes and she was ingesting the substance by putting drops on a vape device over two days. She never left the apartment and they had no visitors before she was reported unresponsive.
Galo sent additional texts on the night of Jan. 29, reading "yo" and "you accidentally took those patches from me." By that point, Sorenson was already dead and her phone was in the custody of law enforcement.
Police seized the bottle from which Sorenson reportedly was taking drops. It was analyzed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and confirmed to contain etizolam. A search warrant also turned up fentanyl patch wrappers in the apartment.
A subsequent search of Galo's home also resulted in the seizure of a dropper bottle labeled etizolam.
Records show Galo has pleaded guilty in two previous cases to two counts of first-degree methamphetamine and cocaine sales, two counts of illegally possessing a firearm and one count of possessing a bullet-resistant vest while committing a crime.
He was sentenced in October to 6 ¾ years in prison, with an anticipated release date of August 2026. Judge Robert Friday on Monday ordered an investigation of Galo's background ahead of sentencing for the murder charge on April 24.
Sorenson, according to her obituary, grew up playing hockey in Cloquet and had a compassionate personality that led her to work in the mental health field. She married her husband, Aric Brock, less than two months before she died.
"She enjoyed baking, especially tiramisu (moon cake) and trying new recipes," the family wrote at the time. "Korryn enjoyed beading and arts. She also showed her beautiful individuality through her many tattoos. Korryn struggled with addiction and not long ago celebrated six months of sobriety. She (as well as everyone who loved her) was very proud of this! Sadly, the demons sometimes are stronger than you can fight."