A family drug deal went horribly wrong when a teenage boy wound up dead in a Summit County, Ohio motel. It began two generations back, when Brenda Frye, heroin aficionado and terrible parent extraordinaire, gave heroin to her 32-year-old daughter, Heather Frye. Heather, in turn, gave heroin to her 16-year-old son, Andrew. Now Andrew’s dead, and both women are headed to prison. Each has been sentenced to 9 years.

When Brenda, 52, gave the drugs to her daughter, she had assumed that Brenda and her friend, Jessica Irons, would be taking them. She claimed she had no idea that Andrew would get his hands on the heroin.

Image: Family Photo
Image: Family Photo

How exactly Andrew ended up with heroin in his veins depend on who you ask. Heather’s attorney said she was upset when she found out her son had taken the drugs, and painted her as a victim of abuse. He said that Heather had begun using drugs with her mother when she was only 12. Heather gave birth to Andrew when she was only a teen herself. As it often does, the vicious cycle of abuse and addiction continued. 

Other reports, however, claim that Heather knew Andrew was using because she told him to shoot up in the motel bathroom. She had allegedly told a detective in the case that she just wanted to be a “fun weekend mom.” Lots of moms say that. Of course, that generally translates to a pizza party with a side of video games for your kids and their friends, not a heroin bender. 

For most of Andrew’s life, he wasn’t raised by Heather at all. He was adopted by a great-aunt, Tammy Smith, who raised him as though he were her own with her partner, John Sabini. However, Sabini’s death in 2010 drove Andrew to seek out his roots, which led him to Heather. She claimed she was no longer using drugs and was in the process of turning her life around, so a wary Tammy allowed him to spend time with his biological mom. 

Image: Summit County Sheriff's Dept.
Image: Summit County Sheriff’s Dept.

Tammy told the Beach Journal, “[Andrew] just wanted his mother and to be around her no matter how bad it was. He wanted her to stop [doing drugs]. He thought that if he was with her when she was using, at least he was with her.”

When Heather picked up Andrew on that fateful night, she told Tammy she planned to take him shopping and then to a local hotel to go swimming in their pool. 

Image: Summit County Sheriff’s Dept.