Stephen Cardiges, 20, a Brookwood graduate and Eagle Scout, died of a drug overdose on Sunday, Aug. 12.
He was also a member of the R.O.T.C. and served as a Youth Counselor at Mt. Rainey Boy Scouts of America camp.
Vicki Pomeroy, a neighbor, knew Cardiges very well. Around the neighborhood, Pomeroy is known as "Mamaroy." Her son, Michael, was friends with the deceased.
"We thought Stephen was clean last time we saw him," she said. "He was straight as an arrow and getting ready to go into the military."
Pomeroy said that he tried so hard to break free from his addiction, but he was part of the wrong crowd. She and Cardiges' family, which includes parents Stanley and Robin and brother Nicholas, hope that this will serve as a wake-up call to friends and acquaintenances with similar addictions.
According to a Snellville Police report, Officer J. Siegel arrived at 2935 Oak Meadow Drive at 8:39 p.m. The home is owned by Nancy, 66, and Thomas John Boughan, 69.
The Gwinnett County Fire Department was already on scene and were attempting to pull Cardiges out of the backseat of a Honda Civic.
The Boughans, along with two young males and two young females, were standing in the driveway when Snellville Police arrived. Officers questioned the group to see if Cardiges had any medical conditions that could have caused his unresponsiveness when Officer Siegel observed several syringes with orange tops lying in the back seat.
One friend, identified as Clayton Smith, 19, told police that Cardiges had injected heroin, then stopped breathing. Police asked if any of the friends had heroine with them, to which one of the females, Omawumi Igbinadolor, 21, replied yes. She handed over two clear baggies containing heroin.
Boughan handed over additional syringes.
Emma Rose Heath, 18, and Zachary Lee Boughan, 18, were inside the residence when Cardiges stopped breathing. Smith alerted them to the situation, and they attempted to help him before dialing 9-1-1. Heath had an outstanding warrant against her for an original charge of shoplifting.
Boughan, Smith and Igbinadolor were charged with possession of heroin while Heath was charged for failure to appear.
Funeral services will be held for Cardiges, 20, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1826 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn. His ashes will be laid to rest in the North Georgia mountains, where he was most at peace.
Friends are invited to support the family and say their goodbyes. In lieu of flowers, donations to the N.E. Georgia Boy Scouts would be appreciated.