Clark County leaders: Pregnant woman’s OD shows more resources needed

Cynthia Haney, 23, was found dead by her uncle Monday morning in her bedroom in the 300 block of Ohio Street, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said.

The woman appeared to have a syringe in her hand and a capsule, which Kelly said indicates heroin or fentanyl or a combination might have played a role in her death. An autopsy is expected to be performed to determine the cause of death.

Haney was six months pregnant, according to a police report.

Sheriff’s deputies received some information overnight, Kelly said, and if they discover who sold the woman the drugs, it will become a double homicide case.

“I would love to find out who provided her with the drugs that killed her and the baby but it’s still part of the investigation,” Kelly said.

Haney had worked at Family Youth Initiatives in New Carlisle through the Clark County Job and Family Services Work Experience Program, Executive Director Pat Banaszak.

Haney was a vibrant person who was a hard worker, Banaszak said. The organization knew Haney struggled with addiction, she said, but never failed a drug test. Haney dropped out of the program last year.

“She had so many gifts,” Banaszak said. “This is devastating for those of us that knew her. … She was a very special person and had so much potential.”

Haney also had a 5-year-old son, Kelly said.

Drug overdoses have killed more than 85 people since the beginning of 2015, according to statistics from the Clark County Drug Task Force. The majority of those deaths were caused by fentanyl. The numbers also show 126 babies tested positive for drugs at birth, most of which were marijuana and opiates.

More needs to be done to help drug addicts in Clark County, Kelly said, especially women. The Clark County Jail female population has increased by 300 percent over the past five years, he said.

Kelly wants to work with all of the agencies to allow more people to receive help, he said.

“The same people who are going to the jail are the same ones who are going to the hospital and McKinley Hall (treatment center),” Kelly said. “We need to have a unified effort to try and attack this problem.”

Family Youth Initiatives has asked multiple times for help with drug issues in New Carlisle, Banaszak said. Beginning today, the organization will have a former addict on site who can provide resources for people who want help, she said.

They’ve also begun the Clark County Recovery Advocates, a task force that includes agencies and local churches and is designed to help residents and families struggling with drug addiction.

“It’s runs in all families, no matter what kind of family you have, whether you’re rich or poor,” she said. “It’s everywhere and it’s killing the generation that’s coming up.”

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