My younger brother John always protected me growing up. However, as an adult, I couldn't protect him against the dangers of drugs. I don't know all the details of his drug habit, but he paid the ultimate price - his life. I remember the day he went missing back in April of 1999. My mother and I went to Kelly's house for a personal Mary Kay party. She mentioned that she couldn't get a hold of John. Mom contacted the Charles County (Maryland)Sheriff's office to report a missing person. I remember seeing his picture in our local newspaper andT.V. station. We tried to joke and say he went to Florida just to "get away." Mom and I met with "America's Most Wanted" and they agreed to feature a quick "missing person" segment on him. It was the Saturday night before Mother's Day, Mom and I (and the rest of our family) watched as John Walsh described mybrother's disappearance. It was ironic, but the D.C. mobile crime officer who was involved in identifying my brother's body was watching the program that night too. When they showed a picture of my brother's tattoo, he immediately recognized it as their "John Doe." Of course, it wasn't that simple to positively ID him, but within a manner of days, we received the devastating news. John was a heavy-equipment operator, but on this particular rainy day, the work day ended early. He gavea co-worker a ride home and from there it's mostly speculation, but it's believed he bought drugsfromthe co-worker's sister andsomethingwent terribly wrong. After injecting the drug (cocaine or heroin), heoverdosed.Thesistermust've freaked out because hisbody was wrapped in a blanket and left in a nearby dumpster, minus his new workboots and wallet.His body stayed in that dumpster for several days, untilthe apartment maintenance man discovered his body. Without any ID, helaid in the D.C. morgue for two weeks as a "John Doe." If it had not been for that segment on "America's Most Wanted," who knows when we would've found him. He leaves behind three beautiful daughters, Shawna, Crystal and Kim.
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