Age: 17 | State: California | County: San Diego | Case Status: Conviction
Before I share Connor’s story I would like to emphasize that my son did NOT die of a drug overdose, he died from Fentanyl poisoning.
Connor was a loving boy with a sensitive soul. He had a passion for football but was also an ambitious student with a 4.2 GPA. Connor was excited for his senior year and planning to attend college at SDSU. During my many talks with my son, he shared his dream to get married and have four children. One day he sent me text, telling me how much he loved me and how he planned to take care of me when I get old. As I read that text, I never thought I would be here today writing how my son was killed because one drug dealer chose my child to be his victim. The death of Connor has been devastating to me, as well as to his dad, his brother, and his many friends. Our community has been traumatized by this death with over 400 people attending his funeral.
Connor was not a troubled child battling drug addiction. He was a child suffering from increased anxiety and his father, and I were seeking help for him, but this drug dealer got to him first. We believe he was convinced a pill could help him relax before taking his AP exams. On the morning of May 5th, my son died alone. I immediately felt pain that I never even knew existed. When I arrived at the house, I found his body lying on the floor covered by a plastic sheet. I wanted to see him one last time, to simply hold his hand and tell him how much I love him. But the police would not let me touch him, because of the lethalness of fentanyl. This goes to show one pill can kill – my son was poisoned by a chemical as deadly as cyanide. I always explained the risks of using drugs, but Connor was a typical teenage who didn’t think anything bad could ever happen to him. He was wrong.
Connor’s killer was a drug dealer and con artist that had no care for Connor although he called him his friend many times over in the court hearings. If he was one of Connor’s friend, I would perhaps feel empathetic to the situation and hope for his rehabilitation but given his track record this was not the case. I had a very close and loving relationship with my son, and he would often share stories about his friends. Connor would also invite his friends over to our home and take trips with their families. That was never the case with this teenager – he was never mentioned to me nor his father.
The dealer who said he was his “friend” gets children hooked on drugs that look exactly like prescription pills, but instead they contain fentanyl, a highly addictive and lethal drug. Prior to his arrest for Connor’s death, he was found passed out in his car with a significant number of drugs in his vehicle. How has this latest criminal charge not violated probation from that prior arrest? That incident clearly had no impact on changing his behavior. The defendant also told others he scammed close to a quarter of a million dollars by purchasing stolen credit card numbers through the black market. I don’t know whether it’s true, but simply bragging about being a criminal shows his lack of character and helps substantiate considering releasing him back into our community. After Connor’s death, we were able to access his Instagram account and learned the defendant’s Instagram username is Frank Abagnle. If you don’t know the name, he is from the movie “Catch Me if You Can” and known as one of the biggest con artists in US history, scamming people of millions of dollars. As you can see, this person is not someone with a bright future that made a casual mistake, he is someone born into a privileged family but chooses to be identified as a criminal because he thinks it is a cool way of life.
I think it’s also important to know this was teenager wasn’t living in poverty and struggling to survive. He was an extremely privileged child that voluntarily chose to go down a dark path. He has been given so much opportunity to be an upstanding citizen but instead choses to live a life of crime. In short, this person is an extremely high risk to the community but ends up getting a probationary period of less than 6 months (1 short of his sentence) because of good behavior.
My top priority going forward is to make sure others are not victimized or killed by this deadly drug, fentanyl. My mission is to build awareness to educate other parents to avoid one more child of dying. No parent should ever have to bury their child! We need to fight for harsher punishments and seek ways to fight this epidemic.