LANSING (WXYZ) - Only a sophomore at Michigan State, Dustyn Frolka had proven himself as a rising star in rap music. At 19, he’d already been signed to a label, produced albums and put on shows across the country.
"He worked on his music, it was his passion. He was very, very smart," said friend Shelly Camacho. "And he was very dedicated."
But friends also say that, over the last few months of his life, Dustyn began to change.
"He was just starting to be not as motivated as he is, he just didn’t seem like he had much dedication the last few months," Camacho said.
On Saturday, Dustyn’s life ended along I-69 when a motorist spotted his nearly lifeless body out in the cold. He died later that night, leaving behind a one-year-old daughter and scores of questions police are trying to answer.
But a possible clue in his death came from his Twitter account. Sent just hours before he died, Dustyn wrote this: “I’ve never done DMT and tonight is about to change (expletive).”
"DMT is a strong psychedelic hallucinogenic drug," said DEA Special Agent Rich Isaacson. "There is no legitimate medical use for this drug and there is a high potential for abuse."
Short for Dimethyltryptamine, DMT is a little-known hallucinogenic that occurs naturally in plants, and even in our own bodies. The drug itself not widely known today—even to many in law enforcement—but it’s popularity is growing, especially on college campuses.
"Now it’s trickling down to teenagers," said Dr. Erik Ayers, who works in the Wayne State University Physician Group.
"It’s a drug that people look towards using, because it does give them a different perspective of what life is, it allows them to run away from the realities of life."
Ayers has treated patients who’ve abused DMT, which is known on the street as “God’s drug.” Users liken it to a spiritual awakening of sorts. Others, like some who’ve described the experience on YouTube, say it allows you to create your own reality.
"The walls grew, like I’m talking the walls were like…woosh, woosh…they shrunk and grew," said one user.
"There were these gingerbread beings all around me," said another. "They do these really weird hand movements."
While the drug is not mainstream, it has certainly made its way into Michigan. In 2008, the DEA raided a DMT lab being run out of an apartment near Kalamazoo.
"The problem is, the more you use it, the more you get away from what reality is," Dr. Ayers said. "And you start to then hate reality, so that’s why the abuse potential continues."
If the drug played a role in Dustyn’s death, it’s too early to know for sure. Police are still working leads and treating the case as a homicide.
Contact Investigator Ross Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (248) 827-9466.