THEY were a charmed couple: young, beautiful, smart, and totally in love.

On 14 October the charm came to a tragic end when the couple were found dead, wrapped in each others’ arms.

According to, Michelle Avila (20) and Christian Kent (23) had been in a dream relationship for a year before death claimed them.

That evening, they had returned early from a party in their hometown, Orange County in Southern California. They both had flu and were taking medication for it. Neither were drinking because they weren’t feeling well.

The couple said goodnight to Michelle’s mum and dad.

Michelle laid out her uniform for her 6am shift at a coffee shop where she worked.

She wrote herself a reminder: "Study for geo. Work on your speech. Love Christian."

Then they lay down together.

They never woke up.

Michelle’s mum discovered their bodies when she went to check on them the following afternoon.

"Two beautiful kids," her dad Paulo Avila told Coast Report Online. "It was like Romeo and Juliet. They both died and they were hugging each other."

The toxicology report is still not complete, but cops believe the couple died from an overdose of opioids.

America is in the grip of a national drug crisis, with about 115 people dying every day from overdoses of opioids. Opioids include prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Heartbroken Paulo is speaking up about the double tragedy because he wants other parents to know "their kids are not safe."

"My mission is to send a message. To show how beautiful people can go through something like that. You're protected by nothing," he said.

"You're supposed to care for what God gave you, and she was God's gift," he told The Orange County Register. "That's what's eating me, from inside out. How come I failed? It just destroys me."