Pubdate: Thu, 05 Jan 2017
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
Copyright: 2017 PG Publishing Co., Inc.
1997-2017 PG Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights
Author: Jonathan D. Silver


A Richland woman died Wednesday in her apartment from a suspected heroin
overdose, leaving her 3-year-old son alone in the residence until police
found him.

The woman was identified as Lauren Wilson, 34, of Thomas Village in the
5600 block of Community Center Drive.

Police were called Wednesday afternoon by Ms. Wilson's mother because she
was unable to contact her daughter by phone, Northern Regional Police
Department Chief T. Robert Amann said today.

Police found Ms. Wilson's body and a syringe.

"When we went in we found the victim deceased from an apparent heroin
overdose and the 3-year-old little boy in the apartment," the chief said.

The child appeared to be well cared for by Ms. Wilson, Chief Amann said.
The boy was turned over to his grandparents. Police contacted the
Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families.

Ms. Wilson's cause and manner of death remain pending at the county
medical examiner's office. The office said the incident occurred at an
unknown time Wednesday, meaning it is unclear how long Ms. Wilson's son
was alone.

Ms. Wilson's death remains under investigation, and Chief Amann said his
department has been in touch with the district attorney's office.

"This is a first time for us, with a child being in the apartment with a
deceased [individual] at the time of the overdose," the chief said.

Ms. Wilson's family could not be reached for comment.

Mike Manko, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said it has
become standard for police departments and the medical examiner's office
to notify prosecutors about fatal drug overdoses.

One police officer who was processing the scene was accidentally pricked
by a needle. The officer went to UPMC Passavant for what Chief Amann
described as "precautionary measures" and was released. The officer is
scheduled to return to work today.

Court records show that a woman with Ms. Wilson's name and date of birth
was scheduled to be sentenced later this month in Allegheny County Common
Pleas Court for driving under the influence. Records show she was charged
in 2015 by Hampton police with several DUI and vehicle code violations.
She entered into a plea agreement in August and was to be sentenced Jan.
18 on one DUI count by Judge Thomas E. Flaherty.

The county public defender's office, which represented Ms. Wilson,
declined comment today.
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