My husband died over an overdose. Was there foul play?


Further Reading

Dear Stanton:

I lost my husband six months ago to a heroin overdose. We do not know to this day exactly what happened and have been unsuccessful in getting the local law enforcement officials to do any investigating of the circumstances. In short, they are taking the words of two addicts who were present that “he provided the drugs it was his idea.” These notable people were wanted on warrants at the time and fled the scene of his death to call 911 from elsewhere. Did my husband take drugs? I don’t know. I do know the insurance companies aren’t paying saying the coroner and sheriff report said he must have (if those two losers said he did). Is this commonplace? I lived with my husband for the past six years and knew him to be recovered. Short of wanting to kill the two losers that were in attendance at his death, what do people do, hire private investigators? I tried that one only to find a guy who was retired off the same sheriff force – a ‘good ol’ boy and friend of the sheriff (no to mention sexist pig).

Well, let me express my limitations in deciding whether your husband did indeed take drugs again, not having known him.

Having excused myself thusly, perhaps I can contribute some thoughts:

  1. Police are not the best problem-solvers, and if your spouse died under any but obvious circumstances, you are justified in hiring a private investigator and/or attorney if you are suspicious of the capabilities of the police and if you want to know the truth. Interview attorneys and/or investigators until you find one you have confidence in.
  2. I believe you that the men with the drugs are sleazy. What was your husband doing with them? How long had he known these men?
  3. What do you suspect happened? Do you think your husband was taking drugs? Do you think these men did something to him? Or do you think that he was taking drugs voluntarily and that he just suffered an unintended negative outcome (in other words, their story is true)? Do you want them punished for their role if this is the case? I am ambivalent about that, because people often blame the carrier for bad drug use. I tend to believe that the legal system works better if we hold people responsible for their own behavior.
  4. One scenario I can imagine is (a) your husband was taking drugs with these men, (b) there was still foul play. In other words, it’s hard to die of an overdose (see Hype Overdose“). But what would be the motive?
  5. On the other hand, it’s the easiest thing in the world for the cops to see a needle and wash their hands of the case — (see “Hype Overdose“), as though every drug user is ready to die at the drop of a syringe. Your suspicions that the cops won’t look below the surface are well justified.

Best, Stanton

Stanton Peele

Stanton Peele , recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts by The Fix, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.


  • Ann Emard says:

    My name is Ann back on September 25,2016 I spoke to my daughter for the last time around 9:45pm. She had been at the VA Hospital. I called and text her multiple times. She was a Army Veteran who suffered rom PTSD, depression and addiction disorder after being sexually assaulted by an officer. She was a runner and loved her family and BF very much.
    I had not heard from KRISTINA all day Sat. , this was not usual for her. In recovery or not. Sunday the 25, I called Deven BF he also had not heard from her. A missing persons report was filed. I received a call 4:45 pm that her car was found in a mall parking lot and she was in it deceased.
    From day one i said someone hurt her.
    She had relapsed and had been using cocaine because Of her fear of dying from fentanyl. She had been in recovery 18 months and was using heroin before treatment.
    After not hearing a word from anyone i got a call we could pick up her car. After 2 days. There wasn’t any evidence that finger prints and her car was empty. Her car was always stacked with stuff. Her GPS was nowhere to be found. I had attempted to contact the detective or trooper that were at the scene, i sent emails no response. I finally heard back from them after a month, i inquired how the investigating was going and detective informed me there was none. Not 1 single question.. he said she was inn the drivers seat slumped over. I told them that she didn’t drive to that parking lot. If she saw all the missed calls she would have just texted i am ok. I was on a mission to get as much info as possible and the things i have uncovered are things you see on TV. I have been trying to get an attorney but “nobody wants to go against law enforcement. I will give the items not in order and would love feed back and if anyone has suggestions.
    Oh and she wasn’t treated like a missing person, a disabled vet , the DETECTIVE labeled her a heroin addict in the report.
    #1. I found her GPS in her trunk deleted .?
    #2. The car was released with cocaine in the glove box. (I took to a PD station and it was sent out for testing) it wasn’t heroin/fentanyl, it was $40 worth of cocaine.
    3# i requested all reports/photos to do with
    Kristinas case from DA’s office.
    #4 each cop wrote a completely different report.
    #5 she was not in drivers seat. She was across the front compartment with her head in the crevasse between passenger door and passenger seat. (She had blunt trauma to her head)
    #6 there was large chunks of bark chips in the backseat. Out of place???
    #7 She had lividity on her back. ????she shouldn’t have if she died there it would all be on the front.
    #8 along with that, and I apologize for being blunt, her body was face down and she had a wet spot with debris stuck on it looks like the wood chips . The wet mark would only have shown near her bottom if she had been sitting on it or on her back.
    #9 35 photos just appeared after a year and 5 months because i questioned why i had only received 8, report says 3 different officers took them.i guess they didn’t need the actual photos at the DAs office because nobody cared enough to question why at a “crime scene there was a detective , investigator and CSSS some crime scene specialists, but yet only 8 photos were turned in.
    #10 the report from the investor says he found a gram of heroin in the car. I questioned where the reports and photos were because I know the P&P and there has to be a paper trail.The Lieutenant told me that was a computer glitch. Falsifying documents ??
    #11 no details were on any report.. EMS is the only people who guessed how long she had been there.
    #12 the new photos show trauma to her nose and mouth scabs her nose looked broke. And her right hand also looked like some finger were broken,
    #13 they took no photos of the wet nap box they claimed had a scale in it.
    I could go on and on. I guess my point is , the wrote it up like they didn’t care.
    They treated all of it like she didn’t matter.
    She had a phone number she had called in the town she was found it. They didn’t want it. They didn’t interview the people they were escorting to there cars like they should have.
    From the beginning , i am not the parent with blinders on. She was 28 she would tell me things and i knew they if the coke was her DOC she wouldn’t have been shooting up heroin like they liked to lead the story.
    Toxicology says; Overdose from acute fentanyl .
    No heroin in her system.
    If anyone who might have stayed with me through writing this ,
    I am preparing letters of demand. I don’t know if they can be held accountable for just throughing her away but because i will never have closure at least i will know i did all i could.
    Thank you,

    If anyone can help me i would appreciate it.

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