There are a lot of stories that I hate to write. This is one of them. It really illustrates the tragedy of drug abuse. Amanda Albee, 30, of Cape May, NJ, overdoes on Nov 15th and died. She was three months pregnant at the time, according to her family.
Albee’s body was discovered by her 9-year-old daughter in the room they shared, according to her 29 year old sister, Amy Toomin. Both Toomin and Albee’s mother, Theresa Crompton, stated the police told them that the heroin Albee thought she was using was actually fentanyl.
Toomin said, “They knew that she was pregnant and they sold it to her anyway.”
This should comes as no surprise to most heroin users, law enforcement, or other first responders. Much of the street heroin now available is laced with fentanyl, which is often 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. It has been responsible for thousands of overdoses and deaths around the country. The CDC reported last December that at least 28,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2014. That marked a 79% increase from 2013 and the highest number of overdose deaths in U.S. history. Fentanyl was involved in 5,554 of those fatalities. The numbers for 2015 and 2016 are expected to be even higher.
As with many heroin addicts, Albee’s heroin use had caused her problems in the pass. One of the greatest issues she faced was from the loss of custody of her older daughter, who was placed into her father’s sole care. Like most addicts, this did not stop Albee from using. “She was a great person when she was clean,” her sister said. “She was always so overwhelmed, trying to strive for perfection.”
Albee’s Overdose – A Backstory
According to Press of Atlantic City, Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor said it is too early to tell if the substance was heroin, fentanyl, or a mix.
The Prosecutor’s Office also stated that Alycha Rodriguez, 22, of Brooklyn, New York, has been arrested and charged in connection with the overdose. She was charged with first-degree strict liability of drug-induced death for allegedly selling the drugs to Albee.
The Press of Atlantic City further added that Rodriguez was staying temporarily at the Beach House Motel in the Rio Grande section of Middle Township, NJ. Officers saw Rodriguez chase two men from her motel room with a knife on the day that Albee overdosed. In September, Rodriguez was arrested in front of another motel in Middle Township along with an associate, Jason Weaver, 39, also of Brooklyn.
Several residents of the motel were interviewed on Friday. They told reporters they had never met Rodriguez, but it was common to see police or drugs in the area. “I don’t like the kids being out here,” one resident of the motel said, “The cops are always here.”
Albee’s mother said she greeted people for two hours at the memorial services. It was estimated that over 200 people attended. “She was just absolutely beautiful,” she said. “I miss her smile.”
Press of Atlantic City
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