Friend charged in teen overdose death



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Posted on January 13, 2010 at 11:24 PM

LYNDEN, Wash. - Kerri Uitdenhowen has waited four months for an arrest in her son's death.

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Uitdenhowen was at a friend's house last August when he died from a drug overdose. His friend's father allegedly told her it was a suicide.

"It was just all lies," said Aaron's mother. "He had called us and told us that Aaron stole his medicine and tried killing himself."

According to charging documents, doctors found Vicodin, Valium, Ecstasy, Cocaine and Marijuana in Aaron's system. He suffered massive organ failure and died at the hospital two days later.

Today prosecutors charged Aaron's friend, a juvenile, with controlled susbstance homicide and manslaughter for supplying the drugs and not calling for help sooner.

"I never felt so much hate as I did that day and I'm a forgiving person. I believe in God, but I don't think I'm going to feel justice until what needs to be done is done," said Uitenhowen.

According to court documents, the teen suspect told his friends "...they could not call for help," because [the suspect] "...could get into a lot of trouble and he could go to jail."

Prosecutors say " ambulance was not called for three hours. Uitdenhowen was unconscious and had a body temperature of 107.6 degrees when aide crews arrived."

The case is eerily similar to Danielle McCarthy, a Puyallup girl who died in 2006 from an overdose after her friend gave her Ecstacy and wouldn't let anyone call for help. In court, Danielle's tearful family asked the judge to hand down a exceptional sentence, and the judge gave Dona Huertas 2 years.

That same grief is now shared by this mother.

"I know he's looking down on me and is proud of what I'm doing. And I want him to know I will always love him," said Kerri Uitdenhowen.

Aaron was the oldest of four siblings.

Police say the investigation is still ongoing, and would not comment when asked if more arrests could follow.

"Aaron's Memorial Fund" to help the Uitdenhowens pay for funeral costs has been set up at the Industrial Credit Union in Lynden.