The Trenton Police Department has opened an investigation into the death of 20-year-old Zoë Conley, who died after a long battle with heroin addiction on Wednesday.
“The City of Trenton Police Department can confirm there is an open investigation regarding this matter,” wrote Trenton Administrator Douglass Brimm. “It is our policy, however, that we do not comment on ongoing investigations.”
Brimm added that Trenton Police Chief Tim Palen would not be offering additional comment for now.
“Zoë suffered for most of her teenaged years from a heroin addiction, a disease that finally took her life after many attempts at recovery,” an obituary posted to the Trenton Sun’s Facebook page said. The Trenton Sun is owned and operated by her parents, Mike and Sybil Conley.
The Sun’s Facebook post has been shared more than 350 times and drawn about 325 comments, many of them praising the Conleys for having courage to be open about their daughter’s addiction and raise awareness about the heroin epidemic.
Zoë Conley was found unconscious early Wednesday morning in her home, and a 911 call was placed around 5:30 a.m., according to Clinton County Coroner Phillip Moss. She was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, where she was pronounced dead at 6:05 a.m.
Moss said toxicology tests were not yet complete as of Friday.
Some police agencies and coroners across the country have begun to treat every heroin-overdose death as a homicide. In Illinois, a person who provides illegal drugs that cause a death can be charged with drug-induced homicide, a class X felony.
Conley was employed by the Trenton Sun and held previous jobs at restaurants in Rockford and Breese, according to her obituary.