The eggs sat on the counter and the potatoes waited in the pan for a late-night brunch as Ashley Romero died.
She took half a pill that appeared to be a prescription painkiller offered to her by her boyfriend. Romero had chronic pain her entire life from pancreatitis. When she was really hurting, she would sometimes take half a pill prescribed to her by her doctor.
This pill wasn’t prescribed, though. The fentanyl in the counterfeit tablet killed her in minutes. When the paramedics arrived at her Grand Junction home, both she and her boyfriend were unresponsive in her car. They revived her boyfriend with naloxone, but Romero died in the front seat on June 11, 2018.
She was 32 years old, a mother to an 8-year-old boy, a sister to three siblings, and Andrea Thomas‘ oldest daughter. The day after Romero’s death, her boyfriend died by suicide.
“I look at fentanyl as a drug of mass destruction,” Thomas said.