A mother's warning: "The demon stole my daughter's life"

Rachel’s death is one in a string of recent opioid overdoses in the Grand Traverse community

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- “She from birth was delightful, she was a magnet people were attracted to her,” said Susan Alexander, Rachel’s mother. “An infectious smile. She always had a compassionate heart. My daughter

was intelligent and insightful and caring.”

Susan Alexander and Steven Ovalle are experiencing the loss no parents should ever have to.

“I was on my way home from work driving in the car when I received a phone call and I knew,” said Alexander.

Rachel, Susan and Steven’s daughter, died on Sunday afternoon from an apparent heroin overdose, leaving behind her parents, sibling and her nearly two-year-old son Jeremiah.

Rachel’s parents said they found out about her drug addictions a year and a half ago when they discovered generic Xanax in her purse.

“We talked about we need to see a doctor, we need a legitimate prescription, you need to be in a treatment plan. She had anxiety. She did not want to do that, she had it under control.”

Susan and Steven worked with Rachel for a year on her sobriety, something they never thought their daughter would have to battle.

“Rachel was a state champion all-around gymnast at age 10,” said Alexander. “She was a straight-A student, she was editor-in-chief of the yearbook at TC East Middle School. She was stellar across the board. She is, was, an incredible mother.”

Rachel’s death is one in a string of recent opioid overdoses in the Grand Traverse community and her parents have a message for all of us.

“Addiction doesn't discriminate, that's my warning, that's my warning,” said Alexander. “You don't got this. It is a demon, addiction is a demon and the demon stole my daughter’s life.”

Susan now has custody of Jeremiah and will become his primary caretaker.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Susan pay for the cost of raising Jeremiah.

If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe or learn more, click here.

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