The devastated mother of a 20-year-old woman whose body was allegedly dumped by friends after an apparently fatal asthma attack is "mad as hell" and remembers warning her "sweet" daughter not to be so trusting.
"She deserved better than to be dumped on the side of the road like we do our trash. That's not how you treat a human being, a beautiful little girl," Tanya Smith told ABCNews.com today by cellphone as she drove to make arrangements for her daughter's funeral.
Taylor Smith was out with friends last week when authorities believe she suffered an asthma attack.
"She was with some friends Wednesday night when she started having difficulty breathing," Smith said. "For whatever reason, no one sought help."
Smith said her daughter suffered from "the worst asthma that you can."
She said Taylor always had a rescue inhaler with her and medications she had to take several times a day.
"She said she wasn't feeling well, went to lay down and they just rolled her over on her side and left her alone and went and did whatever they did," she said.
|"Yeah, I'm angry. I'm mad as hell. As the days go by, I'm getting even angrier. It didn't have to happen."|
Smith, who is a lieutenant with the Holly Springs Police Department, said that she has not seen any official reports but understands that the people with her daughter might have been doing meth. She did not know any of the people with Taylor.
Police have said that they are looking into possible drug use.
"These individuals failed to call 911 and render aid so we believe that based on potential drug use, they were more concerned about the drugs that were involved than getting Miss Smith some help," Capt. Frank Reynolds of the Pickens Sheriff's Office said.
When Taylor was still unresponsive the next morning, members of the group allegedly gave her a cold shower or bath in an effort to "shock her system," Reynolds said.
When that didn't work, they allegedly drove her to a mobile home in Jasper, Ga., and left her body there.
After they left, someone from the group called 911 and alerted authorities who responded to the scene and found her body, Reynolds said.
He said autopsy reports show that she suffered from a seizure or asthma attack, or both. He said it will take a few weeks for results from a toxicology report to determine whether she had drugs in her system.
"She wasn't with people that cared anything about her. Nothing. Nothing," Smith said angrily. "They could've called 911. They could've called me. They could've called her dad. They could've called her roommate.
"She was two miles from a hospital," Smith said. "Yeah, I'm angry. I'm mad as hell. As the days go by, I'm getting even angrier. It didn't have to happen."
Two people, Marty Gaddis, 38, and Denise Patterson, 51, have been arrested and are facing charges that include concealing a death, abandonment of a body, tampering with evidence and drug charges, police said. It was unclear whether they have attorneys.
Reynolds said authorities are expecting two or three more arrests in the case.
Smith called her daughter an "amazing free spirit" who was always too trusting of others.
"I used to call her my little gypsy because she just loved to be out on her own," she said. "She wanted to experience everything there was in life. She wanted to do everything and go everywhere."
"She was beautiful. She was full of life. She was so sweet it scared me," Smith said. "Taylor never met a stranger. I used to warn her all the time. I'd say, 'Honey, everybody that you meet doesn't love you. Just because you love everybody doesn't mean everybody loves you.'"
She said her daughter wasn't religious or spiritual, but believed deeply in love. "She loved everybody," Smith said. "Everybody."
"If it was her time to go, if she finally lost her battle with asthma, I'm more OK with that than having her body dumped," Smith said. "That's what I can't cope with. Who does that?"