The numbers I see of people dying of heroin on a given day, I might have four people dead in my morgue. On one day.
Florissant police should have the toxicology report on 25-year-old Valerie Butler in the next couple of weeks. Butlers body was found dumped in Bridgeton three weeks ago. Her family believes she may have overdosed on heroin. Heroin has become the number one cause of accidental deaths in St. Louis County.
She literally lit that room up when she walked into the room, said Jessica Francis, Valeries cousin.
Now the lights have dimmed for Valerie Butlers family. Jessica Francis visits her cousins grave, making plans for a marker. Butlers body was dumped in Bridgeton next to Prouhet Farm Road. She was found three weeks later. Paul Tripp has been charged with abandonment of a corpse.
He was seen with Valerie at Gaters Pub in Florissant. Butlers family believes she could have overdosed partying with Tripp after they left, but say she was not a drug user.
I think theres a big chance that it is heroin. Like I said, we havent gotten the toxicology, but this heroin its a plague now, said Francis.
Jessica is afraid Valerie could have died trying heroin for the first time.
No matter which way it comes out for her, theres been so many deaths right now with the heroin. There are people selling it right now for $10 and its bad heroin, said Francis.
St. Louis Countys Chief Medical Examiner Mary Case says many young people are using it recreationally. There were 178 accidental deaths last year in St. Louis County, 60 of them heroin overdoses.
The numbers I see of people dying of heroin on a given day, I might have four people dead in my morgue. on one day, said Case. There doesnt seem to be an outrage in the community about what are we doing to stop this.
Jessica says if heroin played any role in Valeries death, she wants to speak out, to stop people from doing drugs.
The bad thing is with drugs, you can pay hardly anything for them now, and it could be the last time you take a breath, just from trying them one time, Francis said.
The St. Louis County Police Department says heroin is coming into our area from Chicago and is a problem throughout the county: South, West, and North. Florissant police want to stress that Butlers cause of death is currently unknown pending toxicology results.