ATLANTA — Police are searching for the person who killed a 26-year-old mother of four, wrapped her in a rug and left her on the side of the road.
Morgan Oller was found dead near Chappell Road in Atlanta on Aug. 10.
But Oller’s mother, Mitze Hester, said although someone is responsible for her death, she believes Morgan’s heroin lifestyle is what killed her.
Marijuana in middle school eventually led to meth in high school, and Oller's life spiraled out of control from there.
"She was trying to fit in," Hester said.
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Oller soon began to take pain pills.
“Oxycodone was the gateway to her using heroin,” Hester said.
The progression was tracked not only in drug types, but also in photos. From a bright, shining mother during a clean period in her life to a woman barely recognizable to her parents not long before an officer knocked on their door. %
“I just said 'My daughter's dead, isn’t she?’ And he nodded his head 'yes,'” Hester said.
A passerby found Oller’s body wrapped in a rug, a deflated air mattress and bedding.
“It was almost like somebody putting out the garbage,” Atlanta police Maj. Adam Lee said.
“You don’t expect to get that about your baby. You hear it on the news and it’s somebody else but not your child,” Hester said.
Police are investigating the death as a homicide.
“Our best detectives, they need the public's help, and that's what we're asking for now,” Lee said.
Hester says she desperately wants justice, but she also wants people to know how the lifestyle of a heroin addict endangered Oller, who had four children in a mostly sober period. %
“If she hadn’t have been using, she would have been home with her children,” she said.
Now, Oller’s parents are on a mission to make sure what happened to their daughter doesn’t happen to yours.
“We take it upon ourselves to tell every parent we can, ‘It can happen to you,’” Oller’s stepfather, Jim Hester, said.
That’s something Mecca Marson knows all too well.
"I realize I could have lost my life several times through heroin addiction," she said. "It's not just about the drugs and using the drugs, it's the lifestyle that goes along with it."
Marson says drug court has helped her stay off heroin for roughly six months.
“God gave me the strength to keep going. He gives me the strength to keep going. 'Cause I do get called by heroin. Every day I get called,” she said.
She says the heroin lifestyle nearly killed her.
“I had to jump out of an 18-wheeler during a drug deal. I was attacked several times while I was on heroin,” she said. “All your inhibitions are lowered. Anything goes. Anything’s acceptable.”
Mitze Hester says that lifestyle had overtaken her daughter.
“Morgan had stolen everything that she could from me,” Hester said.
She says Oller went to rehab roughly 15 times, costing family members hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We pulled money out of 401Ks. We drained savings accounts. We used college funds,” Hester said.
Jim Hester says in the year and a half that he's been married to Mitze Hester, he never met Oller. They made the hard decision not to bring her lifestyle around her 15-year-old sister. But he says no matter where you live, that lifestyle is not far away.
“If you think that because you live out in the suburbs or in Gwinnett County or Cobb County, regardless, you’re close to where heroin's being sold and used,” he said.
He says Oller’s father, Bryan Pritchard, worked very hard with her mother in the efforts to save their daughter.
“I hope the pain in us losing Morgan will open somebody else's eyes,” Mitze Hester said. “As hard as it is to lose my baby, I don’t want somebody else to lose theirs. Well over a month has passed (and I think about it) every second of every day. It doesn’t go away.”