Mom wishes son’s death meant something to someone
Appeal Staff Writer
DAYTON – On Sunday, Andra Woolman was someplace no parent should be; standing next to the grave of her 13-year-old son.
On the one-year anniversary of Jeremy Woolman’s death, the Stagecoach mother still feels like the eighth-grader’s demise matters to no one. The cause of death was determined to be accidental overdose. The supplier of the drugs unknown. And Andra has spent countless hours trying to unravel the truth about the hours leading up to Jeremy’s death when he was found unconscious on the couch of a 50-year-old neighbor who was known to let the kids party at her house, Andra said.
“I just can’t believe that I don’t get the chance to finish raising Jeremy,” she said.
On the day her son died, Andra said goodbye to Jeremy when she left her house at 6:30 a.m. to go to work. She said, just as she was getting ready to go home she got a call from the neighbor on Mustang Trail who told her that Jeremy had stopped breathing and the paramedics were taking him.
She said the woman told her that Jeremy had said he took three pills sometime around 7:30 a.m. and when he said he didn’t feel well, she told him to lie on the couch and she went to bed. Andra said she’s heard that Jeremy had complained he had insomnia and someone told him the pills would help.
At noon, the woman’s daughter tried to wake Jeremy, but couldn’t. The woman, noticing Jeremy’s lips were blue, put a blanket on him, Andra said.
Sometime later when Jeremy still wouldn’t rouse, the woman called two neighbor boys from three blocks away to help her get him into a shower.
Andra said, at 2:15 p.m., after Jeremy had stopped breathing, paramedics were called. They were able to revive him and take him to a Reno hospital. But it was too late, the damage was done.
At 6:13 p.m. Andra watched her son die.
The Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office said no charges will be filed in the incident.
District Attorney Bob Auer, who took office in January, said if his office had more evidence as to who gave the prescription medication to Jeremy, then they would be able to move forward and prosecute. He said he has reviewed the file and agrees with the decision of his predecessor Leon Aberasturi. “The issue is civil in nature. (The woman) may have been negligent in civil action, but that doesn’t raise it to the level of criminal.”
Andra said that excuse is ridiculous.
“The sheriff’s department knew what was going on at that woman’s house. She used to have all the teenagers over. She wanted to be the cool mom,” she said. “Neighbors called the police and (child protective services) on her at least half a dozen times.”
Andra has filed a civil suit against the woman who now lives in Carson City. The woman could not be located for comment.
“I just want (the authorities) to do something about it,” she said. “If it was their kids they’d do something.”
On Sunday as winds whipped across the desert cemetery, Jeremy smiled out from large photographs his mother set up near the plot of earth where she buried her youngest boy.
In some a blond-haired Jeremy posed in football and baseball uniforms, another shows him in kindergarten flashing a wide toothless grin. The largest pictures shows him smiling with laughing eyes in his first year as a teenager and the last year of his life.
His grave is adorned with whirligigs, a large angel sculpture painted by his grandmother and solar powered lights because Jeremy didn’t like the dark.
Andra visits twice a week, she said, watering a cherry tree she’s planted nearby or sometimes just crying.
She’s saved up $1,100 toward the $2,000 needed to buy her boy a proper headstone to replace the gold-metal sheet that carries his name and the dates of his birth and death.
She’ll have engraved on it a poem about love that Jeremy had given her one mother’s day when he was in elementary school.
“Life without Jeremy Michael Bruce Woolman in it is miserable and incomplete,” she said.
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.
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