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Kimberly Smith holds a photo of her daughter, Jennifer Lynn, who died from an overdose of prescription drugs. Mrs. Smith believes her daughter, who struggled with anxiety and depression, was trading prescription medications with acquaintances.

Jennifer Lynn Smith was only 32 years old when an overdose of prescription drugs stopped her heart.

Her mother, Kimberly Smith of Ticonderoga, thinks of her every day.

"Her death was senseless," Mrs. Smith said. "It didn't have to happen. Jennifer Lynn paid the consequences for the ones who poisoned her, who gave her the drugs that killed her."

DRUG OVERDOSE

Jennifer Lynn didn't have prescriptions for the medications that resulted in her death, her mother said.

A Moriah resident, Jennifer Lynn did have prescriptions for lorazepam, gabapentin and trazodone. All are used to treat anxiety and depression, something Mrs. Smith says her daughter struggled with her entire life.

But Jennifer Lynn had 18 to 20 times the normal amount of oxymorphone in her system and five to six times the conventional dose of hydrocodone, according to the autopsy performed by Dr. Francis Varga at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.

Jennifer Lynn also had fentanyl in her bloodstream, along with a blood alcohol level of 0.14 percent, far above the 0.08 standard for intoxication.

Fentanyl, hydrocodone and oxymorphone are all narcotic painkillers that require prescriptions.

"I was told she was at a party, and they gave her the pills," Mrs. Smith said. "The pills in her system were not prescribed to her."

'UNBEARABLE PAIN'

Jennifer Lynn died early Saturday, Feb. 13, after she was taken to Elizabethtown Community Hospital.

She had passed out at a private residence in Moriah.

The autopsy reports says death was from cardiopulmonary arrest due to drug overdose.

"Jennifer's life ended in tragedy," Mrs. Smith said. "Losing a child is the most unbearable pain any parent could go through. I have decided my daughter will not be unknown, her death will not go unheard."

WANTS JUSTICE

She said State Police told her the investigation has hit a dead end.

"They told me they were going to cold case it. They don't have anything. No one will speak the truth."

Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague said Friday that she has nothing to release on the case's status.

"No comment, at this point."

Mrs. Smith said she made up her mind to speak out after reading about the recent work of the Essex County Drug Task Force, which has made numerous arrests of alleged drug dealers in the county.

"It took the death of my daughter and others to wake up the eyes of law enforcement to pursue the crackdown on drugs in our community. This community will not stand for it anymore."

She said she wants those who gave the pills to Jennifer Lynn to be locked up.

"As a mother who loved her daughter unconditionally, I speak out for justice for my daughter and all the others who have died."

MISSED

Mrs. Smith has two other daughters, Jamie and Miranda, and she said they all miss Jennifer terribly.

"She was a big sister to Miranda. We can't believe Jennifer is gone."

She said Jennifer Lynn is buried in the South Moriah Cemetery, but Mrs. Smith so far has not been able to raise the money to buy her a monument.

"Jennifer Lynn has a beautiful grave marker now, with two little angels. She will have a headstone someday."

Jennifer Lynn enjoyed the outdoors, her mother said, and liked to go hiking and fishing.

"She loved animals. She had a puppy and cats. She often adopted kittens that she found, that no one wanted."

Her daughter called her every day, Mrs. Smith said, to tell her about her life.

"She was quiet, very light-hearted. Jennifer was fun to be around."

E-mail Lohr McKinstry at: lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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