Parents offering $45,000 reward for anyone who can identify drug dealer involved in daughter's death
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Featured Image Credit: Robert Gilliam
The parents of a woman who died from an overdose are now offering a $45,000 reward to anyone who can identify the drug dealer involved.
Robert and Karletha Gilliam tragically lost their only child, 22-year-old Ciara, on 23 August, with a preliminary police investigation suggesting the cause was an accidental overdose of fentanyl.
A welfare check was carried out on Ciara's Iowa home after her boyfriend and family couldn't get hold of her.
In a conversation with FOX, Robert said: "They knocked on the door and knocked on the windows. No one answered.
"Ciara’s bedroom window was unlocked and my stepfather climbed through the window and found Ciara deceased on her bedroom floor."
Next to her body were pills containing the strong opioid, and now Ciara's parents, who live in Texas, are trying to find out who sold the substance to their daughter.
Initially they offered a $10,000 reward, writing on Facebook: "Offering $10,000 cash reward to the person that can identify by name, address and phone number to the person that sold the Fentanyl to my daughter that killed her. No questions asked."
However, they later increased the figure to $30,000, and in their latest statement to FOX this has since jumped to $45,000.
"We cannot bring Ciara back," explained Robert. "The epidemic in Iowa is out of control. If we can get one drug dealer off the street, it is our hope that we can save one life.
"We hope this serves notice to the drug dealers that there are some of us that will stand up and take action when no one else will."
The dad went on to say that they would forward any information received to the Des Moines Police Department.
Although he revealed Ciara had struggled with substance abuse in the past, Robert explained that Xanax was her drug of choice, which he believes she used to 'mask the inner pain she was dealing with'.
While Xanax is a tranquilliser used to treat anxiety and depression, Fentanyl is strong opioid painkiller used to treat severe pain, for example during or after an operation or a serious injury.
It is also used to treat pain from other serious diseases, and is up to 50 times stronger than heroin.
Though common effects of the substance are euphoria, sleepiness and pain relief, the risks are hefty, from constipation and nausea to respiratory arrest and death, especially if mixed with other class A drugs.
Alongside their search for the person responsible for giving Ciara the pills, a GoFundMe has been setup on behalf of the Gilliams after they received so many requests to help support them during this difficult time.
The crowdfunding page, which has raised $3,330 of its $5,000 goal, reads: "The loss of Ciara has broken the hearts of many, and it will be a painful process of picking up the pieces of this tragedy.
"Ciara would want this tragedy not to be in vain, but to help others who may also be struggling in silence.
"Our family is urging anyone with any information or resources to help end the selling of illegal and synthetic narcotics that is destroying the lives of so many, in the Des Moines Metro area, contact the Des Moines Police Department."
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677