A Yr After Daughter’s Dying In North Carolina, Grieving Mother Nonetheless Ready For Solutions; ‘It is Devastating’

A Year After Daughter's Death In North Carolina, Grieving Mom Still Waiting For Answers; 'It's Devastating'


CHICAGO (CBS) — A grieving Plainfield mother reached out to CBS 2 a 12 months after her daughter unexpectedly handed away in North Carolina.

Debbie Heater has subpoenaed paperwork, and known as native legislation enforcement in North Carolina, however nonetheless can’t get clear solutions about how her daughter’s loss of life is being investigated.

CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas regarded into her lingering questions.

Shortly after Courtney Heater’s boyfriend made a frantic 911 name, an ambulance rushed to a rural North Carolina residence. EMTs pronounced her lifeless at four a.m. on Feb 2, 2020.

“I simply didn’t imagine it,” mentioned Debbie Heater, her mom.

Debbie, who lives in Plainfield, was shocked when she heard the information.

“How might she be gone? She’s 24 years previous. She was an athlete. She was wholesome,” she mentioned.

The information devastated Debbie, and Cassidy Mootrey, Courtney’s childhood good friend.

“She needs to be right here,” Debbie mentioned.

Much more devastating, almost a 12 months later, they’re unable to piece collectively what occurred the evening Courtney died.

“She was unbelievable. I used to be very fortunate to be her mom,” Debbie mentioned.

“She was the good friend you possibly can at all times go to. She was at all times there for everybody,” Cassidy mentioned.

Courtney moved to Columbus County, North Carolina in 2018 to dwell along with her boyfriend, however her childhood residence remains to be full of recollections of her.

Footage of rugby, bike driving, and tailgating are a stark distinction to those Courtney took throughout her last months.

A police report factors to Courtney being assaulted by her boyfriend. So do hospital emergency room paperwork and textual content messages.

“It’s devastating,” Debbie mentioned.

Six months after Courtney’s loss of life, Debbie lastly obtained the post-mortem report. Famous within the report: extra abuse, together with blunt pressure trauma to the top, chest, stomach, pelvis, and extremities.

Nonetheless, the reason for loss of life was dominated to be an unintentional heroin and fentanyl overdose.

Debbie and Cassidy mentioned they’re anxious Courtney’s boyfriend may need pressured her to take the medicine.

“Simply because somebody has medicine of their system doesn’t imply that they took it,” Cassidy mentioned.

However the lead detective on Courtney’s case appears to disagree.

“Based mostly on the post-mortem there isn’t a additional investigation for a murder,” mentioned Columbus County Sheriff’s Chief of Detectives Paul Rockenbach.

To assist her maintain monitor of Courtney’s case, Debbie recorded her calls with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Workplace.

“I’m not gonna sit right here and say one thing didn’t occur,” Rockenbach mentioned. “I might have the identical questions you do.”

Debbie mentioned the solutions she’s obtained are inconsistent. So are the solutions CBS 2 obtained.

Rockenbach mentioned the division supplied to cowl the price of Debbie’s flight to North Carolina, however she mentioned that’s not true.

He additionally informed us all close by neighbors have been interviewed.

CBS 2 reached out to a neighbor who lives simply 243 toes away. She mentioned she’s by no means been contacted.

“It’s like [Courtney] wasn’t price something,” Debbie mentioned.

“This has been a 12 months, virtually. It’ll be a 12 months, in February, of continuous analysis,” Cassidy mentioned.

Unable to get clear solutions about the place the investigation stands, Debbie filed a subpoena for the sheriff’s division’s case file, however all she might get hold of was the 911 name, a two-page police report, and an EMT report that’s lacking the third web page.

“Every single day I feel I’m going to know right this moment, one thing’s going to return within the mail, or I’m going to get an electronic mail or cellphone name. We’re going to know right this moment. And on the finish of the day, it doesn’t occur,” Debbie mentioned.

For now, Debbie’s cherishing her recollections of Courtney.

The sheriff’s workplace mentioned the investigation remains to be open, however wouldn’t specify if any interviews have been carried out, other than these within the preliminary two-page police report.

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