Pacific man charged in heroin overdose that killed mother of three

2013-07-10T17:00:00Z 2014-11-16T15:02:04Z Pacific man charged in heroin overdose that killed mother of threeBy Joel Currier jcurrier@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8256 stltoday.com

PACIFIC • A Pacific man has been charged with murder in a fatal heroin overdose of a Pacific mother of three children.

Christopher M. Albrecht, 27, of the 1500 block of West Pacific Street, was jailed today in Franklin County on charges of second-degree murder (also called felony murder) and heroin distribution.

Authorities say Albrecht supplied Danielle Jeanine Barlow, 32, and her boyfriend with heroin in April. She used the heroin, overdosed and died. Albrecht is being held in lieu of a $100,000 bail.

The case was investigated by Pacific police and the Franklin County Drug Task Force. Washington Police Detective Darryl Balleydier, who is assigned to the task force, said Barlow and her boyfriend ingested heroin late at night on April 17 at her condominium in Pacific.

Barlow’s boyfriend overdosed first, but Barlow and her 11-year-old son were able to revive him, Balleydier said. After he woke up, Barlow took another dose and was found dead early the next morning. Her boyfriend survived.

Barlow’s mother, Joyce LeMay of Villa Ridge, Mo., said her daughter developed an addiction to painkillers a few years ago after getting a prescription from a doctor for a back injury.

“That’s what started it,” LeMay said. “She said, ‘Mom, I need help.’ And that’s when I first got her into treatment. I thought she’d been doing really good and all of a sudden this happened. I don’t even know when she started doing the heroin.”

Barlow attended Pacific High School and had worked as a housekeeper and home health-care worker for several years, her mother said. She loved camping with family at the Sutton Bluff campsites along the Black River in the Mark Twain National Forest.

“Her biggest passion was her kids,” her mother said. “She always wanted to help people. She was very outgoing.”

LeMay said she hoped her daughter’s death and the charges against Albrecht sent a warning to drug dealers.

“Maybe other heroin dealers will see this and they’ll start knocking it off,” she said. “There’s a lot of heroin dealers on the street. It’s an epidemic and I believe it’s gotten out of control.”

At 6:05 a.m. Wednesday, Barlow’s younger sister, Amy Cook, gave birth to a daughter, LeMay said. Cook named her Danielle. A couple of hours later, LeMay said, she learned of the charges against Albrecht and said, “This is going to be a good day.”

Joel Currier is a breaking news reporter for STLtoday.com and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter here: @joelcurrier

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