Known as "Steazy and Breazy," the two were not only brothers but were best friends, according to their mother. They grew up in Waterford and had similar interests; skateboarding, art, music and boating. At age 17, Randy became a fashion model with the Ford agency and two days after his death, in 2008, was named one of the world's top five high-fashion models. "I watched two beautiful baby boys grow from a sweet innocent bundle of joy up until the end of their lives at 20 and 25 years old, when we had to bury our two sons," said their mother. "I never felt our children were immune to the disease of addiction but I also never thought in my wildest dreams that one day a horrible disease would strike our children and shadow the good in them. We are good parents and our boys were loved beyond measure."
Jimmy Blanchard, died of a heroin overdose on April 24, 2013, after being released from a treatment program to a sober house. The youngest of the three Blanchard boys, Jimmy was a National Honor Society student at Griswold High School who "lost his way" in college, his brother Michael Blanchard said. After a car accident, he started using Percocet and Vicodin for back pain and later started using heroin. He was the father of two.
Olivia loved her family, friends and church family, said her parents, Bob and Sherry Roark. She worked at the senior center in Jewett City, where she loved listening and talking to seniors and playing games with them. She loved volunteering her time with the church youth group and going on mission trips. "She was and always will be our Angel," her parents said. She died of a heroin overdose on May 29, 2016.
"I will never allow his disease to define who he was," said his mother, Lisa Cote Johns. "Most importantly, what I want everyone to remember about my son was, he was so loving and so sweet and made people laugh just with a smile." Christopher died of a heroin overdose on Oct. 2, 2014.
Eric died of a heroin overdose on Feb. 23, 2008. He lived in Suffolk County, N.Y., with his grandparents but had strong family ties in southeastern Connecticut. He was "an unbelievably sweet, gentle, always hugging, comical teenager," according to his godmother, Kelley Magee McCarthy of Waterford. "Everybody that met him loved him," she said.
Michael had worked hard on his 12-step program and proudly achieved periods of long-term sobriety, according to his family, who said he died of acute fentanyl intoxication on Feb. 21, 2016. "Addiction is truly a disease which, like a cancer, causes erratic unhealthy synapses between neurons in the brain disallowing healthy choices," the family said.
Michael "Redd" Turner will be forever 31. He was a hard worker and planned on taking over his father's tree service. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a partner, and a friend; but his greatest achievement was being a father to his twin boys. Michael died by suicide on May 27,2015. He didn't overdose but his addiction still killed him. He is and always will be missed but his memory will live on in our hearts forever.
Jordan had dreams, hopes and wishes, but lost his battle to addiction, according to his parents, Allan and Lynne Selserman. His death was due to a heroin/fentanyl overdose in a sober house on Oct. 16, 2008. He had a bright future in sales with Grainger and planned to attend college part time to become a counselor, they said. "His warm, caring smile and his beautiful brown eyes captured your heart immediately."
Matthew loved his family above all else, according to his mother, Kathleen Dufficy. He enjoyed a day of hiking, basketball, and loved animals, sincere laughter, movies, drawing and reading. He took pride in his appearance and had a particular fondness for sneakers, which he kept looking like new long after they came out of the box. He died in a car crash on Nov. 23, 2015. Testing showed he had ingested methadone, heroin and benzodiazepines.