Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Life Lost: Another Side of This Addiction

Most of the time here in Martinsburg and Berkeley County we hear of a life lost to overdose of heroin. When your loved one is actively using and abusing your loved ones life is in danger in more ways than you probably imagine. They often steal to get their next fix and could be shot entering a home or a property in which they are committing a crime.

Someone sent me this story months ago and I saved it. When Mr. James Boyd was trying to help the young lady a couple of months ago and she was talking about her life on the streets I thought of this young lady, Tina and how eerily similar the two ladies stories were except that Tina was never given the chance to tell her family she was ready for help because someone chose to take her life.

I then couldn't find it in the saved section. I recently found it and wanted to share it. Reading it tore me up that a life was lost in this town in such a horrible way. A beautiful person is gone from a more sinister, dark, ugly and evil side that we don't often hear about. I am talking about murder.

This was written by this young woman's family member in the hopes of reaching out to those
living in this addiction and for the families of those actively using that the disease of addiction doesn't always take a loved one in an overdose. Reading the story broke my heart.

"It's my prayer that this story strikes a nerve with someone and lives can be changed... and saved.

The anniversary of my cousins death (murder) has just passed. Some of you may have known her or some of you may have heard of her murder eight years ago. You may ask why I might be doing this when it's been eight years ago.

There is very good reason and that reason is the evil they call "drugs". 

Tina had been at my house visiting because I was bedridden at the time. She was sitting on the corner of my bed and we were laughing and talking. It hurts me to know that I was the last face she saw of someone that loved her. When it was time for her to leave, I didn't follow her out the door. I was hooked up to machines at the time and it was hard for me to walk. I now wish I would have walked out with her onto the porch because I believe I would have been able to keep her from getting into the car she got into with those two killers.

She had only met them one time before and got into the car because they had promised to take her around the corner so they could all get high together. When you are hooked on drugs, you will steal from your family and friends, you will steal from stores, you will beg borrow and steal from anyone you can just to get that high.

This time all it took was the promise of a free buzz.

Instead of getting what she thought she would be getting… she instead got murdered.

Instead of going around the corner, she was taken to Hedgesville to an apartment where she was raped, sodomized, beaten, stabbed and was forced to give two men oral sex. But they weren't done with her yet. They took her upstairs where they finished her off by stabbing her and slitting her throat so violently that she was almost decapitated.

Strong cleaning fluid was poured into her mouth and nose and her private areas along with the gaping slit in her throat so the murderers could stupidly try to "clean away" any DNA evidence possibly left behind that would lead The authorities to the rapes and murder. She was then put in a large, blue tote and kicked down the hill at dam#4. They found her body after the neighbors smelled her decaying flesh.

I'm sorry to be so graphic but this is the reality of what drugs can do to you. Not to mention the lifelong addiction, every penny of your cash will go for your drug of choice, ruining your family's life and your friends and your own. And then of course there is the oh-so popular overdose. I've lost three loved ones due to self abuse and another due to someone being so stoned out of their mind that they "accidentally" killed my friend. And prison?

I hear it's great as a nice, long vacation spot. Drugs will get you one of the unsavory things listed above. The worst thing of course that could happen is death. Either yours or someone else's. Or perhaps the living hell of being on a respirator for the rest of your life. And you don't have to be a homeless street person for this to happen. It happens to highly intelligent, well-educated people as well. 

Being on the local news and being interviewed by newspapers and trying not to break down and just scream about how so much focus was on the horrible men and horrid details (understandably so!) and not the real reason all of this came about was hard.

People will hurt you for drugs.

People will rob you for drugs.

People will take what they can of yours and mine for drugs. Most break-ins are done not to feed their family but to feed their piggy bank so they can buy… What else? Drugs.

In Tina's case, it was the lure of drugs that made her get into that vehicle. Otherwise I'm 99% sure she would've never done it. Drugs will hurt the person doing them, the people that are around them that love them and even whole communities. If you need help then get help! This is why help is offered! 

I'm sure by now you've gotten my point. I just wish I didn't have this story to tell in order to make that point. Get help for yourself. Get help for a loved one. Get involved. 

I pray that if T.V. cameras come to film you or newspapers are there to interview you or your family that it's for something wonderful and not for something like this.

MARTINSBURG, WV - Just days after two men were arrested in connection with the rape and murder of a Martinsburg woman her family is speaking out.
The family of Tina Marie Starcher is outraged. They admit that Tina had a troubled life, but they say she didn't deserve to die.
Her body was found over an embankment near Dam #4 last week.
West Virgina State Police say Fred Douty and Anthony Juntilla were looking for drugs when they ran into her. It was at this point when she agreed to get into their car to get high.
Troopers say Starcher was hit in the face and knocked unconscious. Then the men put Starcher's body into a plastic tub before throwing her body over an embankment.
Although Tina's family admits she made a bad decision, they believe she shouldn't have been killed.
“It was completely unnecessary. She asked and begged them to let her go home. I don't know why they would have to do the things they did to her. Completely uncalled for--very violent and evil,” says cousin Sandra Cruz.
“She was in a real good mood,” says husband Allen Starcher. “On her way to clean someone's house -- really happy and in an upbeat mood -- that was the last time I saw her.”
Family members describe her as a caring individual who was always willing to help out.
“I think what people need to know most about Tina is that she had a really big heart. She would do just about anything for anybody,” says Cruz.
Her father says it was her caring heart that he will miss most.
“I'll miss her smile and her heart,” says Michael Underwood. “She'd get to the fence, and say, ‘How are you dad?’ I'll see her walk up the street, ‘Do you know any help dad? Are you doing alright?’ -- stuff like that I'll miss very much.

Both Douty and Juntilla are being held without bail at the Eastern Regional Jail. They both face charges of first degree murder. Both are scheduled to be in court June 28th for their preliminary hearings.
Funeral arrangements for Starcher are still being planned."

Rest easy Tina. Who knows? Your story may just save a life today! Someone reading your story today may find help for their loved one.

Reading this young woman's account of her cousin and the last moments of her cousins life, breaks my heart. I pray for Tina's family often ever since reading this story. I pray for all of the families in this town who are affected by this disease.

About a month ago Mr. James Boyd interviewed and was trying to help a young woman here in Martinsburg who is addicted to heroin who wants help for her addiction. This particular woman wants help and for a few days was detoxing. A bed never opened for her.

She is living in the run down motels on the edge of town and prostituting for her habit. I pray for that young lady and the others just like her.

Please if you have a loved one living on the streets of Martinsburg and you are seeking help for their addiction, please call someone today.  Call Kevin Knowles the Recovery Services Coordinator (304-676-1923) Call the helpline Help4WV (1-844-435-8255)

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