ISSAQUAH Vern Lyter remembers his son as an amazing kid, with a great smile and booming voice.

Zach Lyter was a former football player at Issaquah High School, who was planning on taking classes at the University of Montana this fall.

We spent a lot of time together, says Vern, including a night at the family home in May which he won t soon forget.

I came upstairs from watching [TV] and saw my son was dancing with his mom, and telling her he loved her. I just watched, said Vern.

I went down to his room later, and he was writing a paper for his business class. He asked Can you give me a ride to school in the morning ? I said when do you need to wake you up?

8:30. That s when I found him.

When you wake up and your son is dead, it s shocking. Especially after a night like that.

Police say Zach, an athletic 19-year-old, overdosed on heroin. Prosecutors say they have enough evidence to charge the person who supplied it, with murder. That s why police arrested 20-year-old Adam Pepka of Seattle last week. He s been charged with one count of Controlled Substances Homicide, a rarely used charge in King County. Court documents say the welder, and singer in a local band, met Lyter at an Issaquah fast food restaurant and sold him the fatal dose, then continued to sell drugs to others even after he knew of the teen s death.

Pepka could face up to 5 and a half years in prison for the crime. He is out on bail, and will be formally charged next week.

Vern Lyter says his son s death was completely unexpected.

But looking back, he now believes his son dabbled in drugs only after the sudden death of two close friends.

He was a beautiful boy, great kid, a spiritual kid, says Vern.

We still don t understand why, but he s not here to ask.
Read or Share this story: