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Steve Novotney Says, "Obit Can Teach All"

Cindy Moore's daughter Kimberly, a 29-year-old wife and the mother of two, had a headache and told her mother she was going to lie down on a bed on the second floor of the family home. But a few hours later when Cindy went to check on her, Kimberly was not on the bed.

She was on the floor.

She was cold.

And she was dead.

The third overdose proved, well, most unfortunate for Kimberly and for her parents, Bill and Cindy Moore. Our news partner WTRF-TV reported on this Dec. 2 sadness out of Jacobsburg, Ohio, that ultimately ended Kimberly's battle that had resulted in rehabilitation programs and the custody loss of her 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son to her parents, who had called Child Protective Services on their own child because their daughter would not quit the drugs.

And now Kimberly is dead, her husband a widower, and her two kids motherless. She was laid to rest in Powhatan Point this week, and her dealer will simply find a new customer to take her place and quickly forget her face. That's the way it works. The dealers care only about how much they want to sell, not about who's buying what they are selling.

In some cases the drug traffickers are locals who have been lured into the business by hoodlums from cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Toledo, and Pittsburgh. They offer free junk in exchange for things like housing, networking, food, and cell phone accounts. Sometimes, though, the out-of-area criminals are forced to the streets themselves, and occasionally they end up dead on the alleys of East Wheeling like Lemroy Coleman and like a few others in Steubenville the past couple of years.

Kimberly is NOT the first to die from an overdose here in our Upper Ohio Valley. We've lost 16-year-olds and 55-year-olds and men and women of all races and nationalities and social classes. Hell, we've had a plethora of babies born addicted to heroin that have had to endure a process far more painful than teething.

Bill and Cindy Moore were well aware their daughter had close friends who were addicts, too, including those who had overdosed, were brought back by antidotes like Narcon, but then quit breathing permanently the next time or the time after that. It's an evil cycle – injury, opioids, heroin, and then the addiction takes them to an unimaginable frame of mind.

Some recover and accept the fact they will always be addicts, and some stay on that roller coaster between abuse, rehab, clean living, and then there are those whose intentions return to that chase after that dragon. Heroin is not new to the Upper Ohio Valley, and for years communities in Jefferson, Brooke, and Hancock counties were impacted far more than Ohio, Marshall, and Belmont counties because of the so-called "Heroin Highway." It's actually PA Route 22/30 that flows from the area near Pittsburgh International Airport and through Weirton, Steubenville, and Cadiz, and it was law enforcement that tagged it with its nickname.

That's why the Moores did something different with their daughter's obituary. Far too often when reviewing the day's reported deaths can a reader wonder about cause based on age and the selected charity, but Bill and Cindy left little mystery when tasked with composing Kimberly's obituary.

It stated:

"Kimberly Anne (Moore) Angus, 29, of Powhatan Point, OH., born February 5, 1987 in Bellaire, OH, died at home, Friday, December 2, 2016. Her mother and father found her on the floor dead from an overdose of drugs. They ask that her death would not be for nothing. If you are using drugs, her parents plead with you to stop and get help.

She leaves behind two children, Cynthia Magnani (age 10) and Alex Angus (age 8); husband, Shane Angus; her parents, Cindy and Bill Moore; siblings, Vicky Palmer, William Moore II, Leslie Haren, Quincy Moore, Steven Moore, James Moore, Amos Moore; all in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Friends will be received on Wednesday from 12 pm until time of funeral service at 2 pm at Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory 186 Main Street Powhatan Point, OH 43942 with Rev. William Coker, Jr., officiating. Burial will follow in Powhatan Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Belmont County Drug Task Force …"

Her father told WTRF that no parent wishes to realize their child is a drug addict and that even if a mother or father admits it, both continue believing control is possible when, really, it is not.

That is why the Moores are urging local residents to report IT if they see IT. The dealing. The abuse. This mother and father are confident we all are witnessing this epidemic beyond the news headlines, and they believe the time has arrived for a unified effort to defeat IT.

"There are so many people in the Ohio Valley," Mrs. Moore told WTRF, "who are overdosing every day."

And the Moores are correct, on all counts.