Possible overdose investigated
HUNTINGTON — Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the death of a 21-year-old Huntington woman who was pronounced dead Monday afternoon after an apparent drug overdose that happened in the early morning hours of Friday.
Tara M. Rose was transported by Cabell County EMS to St. Mary’s Medical Center about 9:30 a.m. on Friday. She was found in a motel room at the Quality Inn, located at 3325 U.S. Route 60, with an extremely low body temperature, Chief Deputy Jim Scheidler said.
Emergency responders and the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department were called to the Quality Inn for a possible cardiac arrest, according to a report from the sheriff’s department. The report said she was in critical condition when found.
Deputies found a spoon, drug paraphernalia and a small baggy, as well as needle marks on her body. Whether it was a heroin overdose has not been confirmed, Scheidler said.
“There are individuals there that we have talked with and we believe someone is responsible for this,” Scheidler said. “The investigation is ongoing and we’re going to do everything necessary to bring this case to a grand jury.”
A man from Detroit, Mich., was with her at the time and called 911, according to the sheriff’s department report. The report said he met Rose at a pop machine outside of his room and invited her in about 4 a.m. Friday. About 9 a.m., he said he noticed she was unresponsive and that’s when he dialed 911.
It has been confirmed that earlier that evening, Rose had been at a downtown Huntington restaurant prior to going to the motel, Scheidler said.
“This is our biggest fear, that it gets into the hands of our youth,” he said. “We all have to continue our efforts to stop it.”
Rose’s mother, Angie Rose, and her aunt Lisa Rose, said Tara had no reason to die and she had a lot to live for— including her 11-month-old son Mikey Rose.
“She was in a situation that she knew that the best interest of her child was to keep her son in a positive environment until she was able to get on the right track,” Angie Rose said.
Both Angie and Lisa said Tara was a beautiful, bright young girl who got lost along the way. After speaking with Scheidler and witnesses from Friday’s incident, they believe someone caught Tara at a vulnerable moment and took advantage of her.
“We don’t what went wrong, but we do know that there are a lot of drug dealers out there that are killing our kids,” Angie Rose said. “We need to get the community involved and come together to stop this crime and violence and out of town people coming in and hurting our children.”
Although the sheriff’s report stated that a Detroit man told deputies he met Tara outside of his motel room, Angie Rose said that is untrue. She said a witness has came forward to deputies and said that Tara was at a restaurant with two Detroit men. She told the witness that she was going out to smoke and cigarette and never returned.
“This was all verified with video and conversation,” she said.
Angie Rose said she’s been in Huntington since Friday and has not had any sleep. A former Huntington community member, she currently lives in Houston and has guardianship of Tara’s son.
Tara is survived by her mother Angie Rose, her father Jeff Rose, her older sister Teddy Rose and her son Mikey Rose.
Investigations indicate heroin was possibly involved in 10 deaths in Cabell County this year, up dramatically from previous years. Only four were reported from 2001 to 2006, according to numbers provided by the state Health Statistics Center.
Seven of the nine deaths this year have occurred in the past three months.
Authorities initially linked heroin to each death based upon interviews and evidence collected in their investigations. They are still waiting for toxicology reports to confirm heroin’s role in several of the cases.