DENVER - A pregnant Colorado Army National guard member who was found dead in the back seat of her car in Ohio died from an overdose of heroin.
The autopsy report released this week on Deanna Ballman also revealed she also had morphine and codeine in her blood system at the time of her death and had morphine, monoacetylmorphine, codeine, acetylocodine and diacetylmorphine in her urine.
Ballman, who moved back to her family hometown from Colorado, was found dead in the back seat of her 2003 Ford Tarus, parked near a wooded area near New Albany, Ohio on Aug. 1. She had just moved back from Colorado and her car still had Colorado license plates.
Family members filed a police report when she did not return home after responding to an employment ad on Craigslist.com. Her family said Ballman and her husband were estranged.
The autopsy report said Ballman had a 1/4 inch contusion on her left elbow and visible track marks on her arm., according to WBNS TV. She also had a needle puncture mark on her left thigh that was surrounded by a bruise.
Investigators had found a substance they labeled “possible heroin” in Ballman’s purse, according to the coroner’s report obtained by the Columbus Dispatch. A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office told the newspaper that she did not know whether tests had determined that the substance was heroin.
Investigators found she had cleaned the home of an emergency room doctor before she disappeared.The doctor remains under investigation after several search warrants were carried out on his home. The doctor has not been charged in the case.
"She was totally against drugs," Ballman’s mother, Lori, told WBNS TV in Columbus. "Especially being pregnant, they had to either be injected into her or put in her water."
Authorities continue to investigate the case as a suspicious death, according to the news release.