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Jessica M.

By Jessica's mother, Michele

Jessica Mary Miller

Glenshaw, Pennsylvania

My daughter, Jessica Mary Miller, died at the age of 31. Jessica struggled with addiction for 15 years and was also afflicted with severe mental illness. I would like to recognize that not all those who struggle with addiction die from an overdose.

Jessica died at the hands of her mentally ill boyfriend. She had been in the relationship for only five months and thought she found the “love” of her life. The minute I met him I knew that their relationship was not good for Jessica. She had been doing much better than she had been past, and I was hopeful she may be ready to overcome her struggles. But like many women who battle addiction, she desired a partner who would make her feel worthy and wanted. It didn’t matter what they looked like, how old they were, or what they provided financially - she just needed assurance from a romantic relationship.

One night after Jessica boyfriend's unemployment check came in, they got into a fight about how the check was going to be spent. I can only assume this was the main argument from the phone call I got from Jessica that night. After we spoke on phone at approximately 10 PM, the police were at my door at 5 AM to tell me my daughter had been strangled and was found outside the steps of her apartment. At first, the police told me she died by suicide but I was adamant that she would not have done that. Jessica’s boyfriend was later charged and convicted for murder by strangulation and is now serving 25 years in jail.

I am writing now to show that not only drug overdoses are killing our children, but also the fall out of both drug use and mental instability. Not only girlfriends or spouses, but the innocent children who can’t fend for themselves when their parents are so engulfed in their addiction.

It has been three years since Jessica’s death and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. Many might find this strange, but I do not hate the person who took her life, as he is just as sick as Jessica was. They chose to be together and she knew what he was like, and chose to stay. A mentally healthy person would not put herself in that position. This was not Jessica’s only bad romantic relationship, they were all bad, and her addiction drove her from one bad relationship to another.

God bless our beautiful children and I pray that the world will be a better place for my grandchildren.

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