Tuesday evening was surprisingly less busy than usual. As a result, I had plenty of time to answer the phones and help my fellow citizens with all their needs and concerns. Take this one woman, who wanted help in finding information on her friend, who sadly, passed away from a drug overdose.
The woman stated she had information on the man who allegedly gave her friend the drugs, and was looking for help in continuing the investigation. I told the woman once the body is transferred to the medical examiner, they have all jurisdiction, and our role in the case is usually over. But, she seemed nice, so I asked the name of the decedent in order to find the detective assigned.
The woman spelled out the name and I entered the information into the computer. There were no results. I asked the woman to spell the name again, because I’m getting old and feeble, I may have made a mistake. I checked again, and no results…
Frustrated at my ineptitude, I asked the woman when her friend died, and she said 1998.
Yes, apparently her friend died of an overdose over two decades ago, and now she may have information on the person who sold her friend the drugs. She was very persistent, demanding she come to the division to give detectives all the information necessary to find and arrest the dealer.
While I obviously sympathized with the woman’s plight, I informed her the statute of limitations on drug charges in Pennsylvania is two years, unless there are “major charges,” which are good for five years. So she was sixteen years too late.
The woman was not entirely happy with my answer, but sadly, that’s the law. She continually demanded to come to the division and speak with us, but there was simply no point. Even if there was concrete evidence this man sold the drugs to her friend, there is little doubt he would be charged within the statute of limitations. Outside it? It was never going to happen.
Toward the end of the conversation, the woman became terse. She was simply not accepting the facts, and made sure she took my name before telling me how little I was helping her.
Just another day at the office.