MILLERSVILLE, MD — Jessica Courtney of Pasadena describes her oldest sister, Allison Newcomb-Glaeser of Millersville, as funny, musically inclined and a free spirit. But now, Courtney’s memories of her sister are all that she has left. Courtney was contacted by the Anne Arundel County Police Department and told that her 40-year-old sister had committed suicide June 10 in Millersville; she was in the last trimester of her pregnancy. But that was impossible for Courtney to believe.
“As I learned more details about her death, the more apparent it became to me that she was murdered. But I was told that her death wasn’t worth looking into because she was an addict and there was a long list of domestic violence calls to her house. At my sister’s funeral, you could see the baby bump and if you touched it, you could feel the fully developed baby that lost its life when my sister lost hers,” Courtney told Patch.
Fueled by indignation that her sister’s death and that of her unborn baby might be brushed aside, Courtney reached out to the Anne Arundel County Police Department, which has decided to reopen the case. In addition to Allison, Courtney has three other sisters and a brother. Allison has two daughters, age 12 and 14, who are being raised by their father and a five-year-old son that her aunt adopted.
“She had a hard life that led her to use, but she was so much more than her addiction. She loved nature and music. She would dance in the rain. We would spend all day together and our kids would have playdates when she was clean. She never judged you, would hug everyone, and when she was clean, she was the most amazing mom and sister,” Courtney said.
Anne Arundel County Police Sgt. Jacklyn Davis, director of media relations, confirmed that Courtney contacted the police department’s homicide sergeant, who is looking into her sister’s case. The medical examiner also responded to the scene to examine her sister’s body and its surroundings, Davis said.
“What an awful situation to lose a sister and niece or nephew. That is completely heartbreaking,” Davis told Patch.
Despite the circumstances surrounding Allison’s death, Davis reiterated that the Anne Arundel County Police Department does indeed care about those with addictions. She said the police department has safe stations, mobile crisis and Anne Arundel County became the first county in Maryland to have a full-time fatal overdose unit whose goal is to charge dealers with a crime when a user dies.
“We were also the first county in the state to have the entire department trained in Naloxone and at the time, the largest department in the nation to do so. We are also a part of FORT (fatal overdoes review team), which is multiple county/state entities who meet quarterly to discuss overdose prevention,” Davis told Patch.
After Courtney made contact with the Anne Arundel County Police Department, she said she felt relieved that she and her family will finally have answers about her sister’s death. Their mother, Kimberlea Kent of Glen Burnie, shared with Patch that Allison “spent her life fighting demons.”
“All I know is that as her mom, she was beautiful, smart and headstrong. I tried my best to help her … the world will be a little less bright without her and I will miss her husky laugh and big strong hugs for the rest of my life,” she said.
Jason Bryant of Millersville, the father of Allison’s daughters, described her as a “fierce friend” who lived life to the fullest.
“She danced without caring what anyone thought. She loved with her whole heart,” he told Patch. “When Allison had the babies, she set up the best art center in our house and had them enjoy it every day. She bought musical instruments even though we couldn’t really afford them, because she wanted to give her kids everything she had wanted growing up … Allison was a fighter and seeing her fall is one thing I couldn’t have imagined.”
How To Get Help
Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to this epidemic and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery. Marylanders grappling with a substance use disorder can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org or by calling 211 and pressing 1. Individuals also can call 211 and press 1 or text their zip code to 898-211 to speak with knowledgeable crisis call specialists.
Anne Arundel County Warmline: Addicts who are seeking help are urged to call the county’s WARMLINE at 410-768-5522. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also offers a tool to find treatment centers.
There are Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings available locally as well as Nar-Anon and Al-Anon for family members.