Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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October 18, 2013

Herrin’s death deemed accidental

By CLINT FOSTER

The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that Shannon Herrin, 38, had methamphetamine in her system when she was found dead in her freezer in August.

According to the medical examiner’s findings, Herrin’s death was caused by “toxic effects of methamphetamine” with “hypothermia” as a contributing factor. The M.E. and investigators believe her death was accidental and no foul play was involved, according to a press release provided by Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan.

Herrin’s body was found by her 20-year-old son in a chest-style freezer in the garage of her Mineral Wells home around 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.

After obtaining a warrant, investigators processed the crime scene and sought to determine whether Herrin’s death was the result of a homicide or other causes.

After multiple interviews and an autopsy that showed no signs of trauma, Mineral Wells Police Department investigators ruled out foul play and waited for the toxicology and blood work results.

The M.E.’s report showed not only that Herrin had meth in her system, but she also had fresh puncture wounds on her “arm(s).” The press release stated additional substances recorded in the test results included marijuana, hydrocodone and a prescription anti-anxiety medication.

Based on their findings, the M.E. concluded that Herrin likely “crawled into the freezer while under the effects of methamphetamine.” This corresponded with investigators initial observations and evidence collected at the scene.

Sullivan said he hopes the results can give the family closure in the face of such a “terrible” death.

“We are mindful of Shannon’s family and their grief from such a tragic loss,” he said. “These toxicology results serve as yet another example of the terrible effects and harm meth can cause to people, their families and a community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this family, especially to her son.”

These findings come one week after a mass drug bust resulting in the arrest of 19 people in the Dallas and Palo Pinto County meth industry, as well as the seizure of six pounds of meth. Law enforcement officials hope that the two meth-related incidents will help curtail the market for drugs in the local community.

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