Age: 26 | State: Indiana | County: Hamilton | Case Status: Closed
Sarah was a bright, caring, loving daughter, sister, fiance and friend. At her funeral her friends, co-workers, and managers all shared how engaging her smile was and that they would miss her cheerful disposition most of all. Her family misses her dry wit, sometime quirky perspective, her laugh, cuddling on the couch to watch disney movies or shark week. She received a bachelors degree in social work with a certification in addictions counseling in 2017. She was a licensed behavior counselor and was six short weeks away from completing the internship phase to receive a Masters degree in Psychology and Counseling when she was murdered. Sarah was NOT a drug addict; but she understood the pain of addiction. As a teenager and young adult, anxiety manifested with eating disorders and self harm behaviors. She wanted to help people. Because Sarah worked for a community mental health organization; and specifically in a neighboring county, any investigation into her death was extremely limited. Turned out the local police department had little appetite to pursue any questioning of her employer, peers or clients. HIPA laws have greater pull than our rights to find justice for our daughter. Her life matters! (I don’t believe in past tenses, because she will always live in my heart!) We turned Sarah’s phone over to authorities immediately. We gave them access to her room. We do not know how she came to have enough fentanyl and car-fentanyl in her system to kill an elephant 100x over. What we presume is this – She suffered from kidney stones and had a procedure several months earlier. She suspected another stone was forming as she was experiencing a great amount of discomfort. We believe a co-worker/classmate gave her the poison pill that may have been what she thought was vicodin. We know she left work around 12:30. Came home with a burger king lunch – the receipt in the bag was timed at 1:20ish, and went up to her room to take a nap. The Fitbit on her wrist tracked her heart rate as it plummeted to flat line in less than 2 minutes- 3:14 p.m. My scream in finding her at 6:30pm cold and lifeless in her bed, with her 6 mo old puppy dutifully guarding over her, will never leave my head. No family should EVER have to experience this pain. Sarah’s death was ruled an “accidental overdose”. Sarah was shamed in her death by authorities dismissing her death as an overdose because she had a recovery app on her phone. This recovery app was tracking recovery from self harm. We need justice for our children – this is such a BIG problem – we have to work at it together, bit by bit, case by case to change the language. Our loved ones were murdered – they do not accidentally overdose. Sarah laid down to take a nap, having taken something she thought would alleviate some of the kidney pain she was experiencing. She did not commit suicide, she did not overdose. She was looking forward to graduation; she was starting to plan for a fall wedding; it was her fiance’s birthday and she was moving into the home just purchased. Her dreams were about to be realized – but she went to sleep and never woke up…AND the authorities didn’t care enough to do their work and conduct a full and exhaustive investigation.