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Posted on Tue, Dec 7, 2010 : 3:49 p.m.

Hamburg Township Police investigate whether drug overdose caused 28-year-old woman's death

By Heather Lockwood

Hamburg Township Police are investigating whether the death of a 28-year-old Pinckney woman Friday night was caused by a drug overdose.

Officers and paramedics responded to a call about a possible drug overdose in the 10500 block of Monticello in Hamburg Township about 8:25 p.m. after Katherine (Katie) Strauss, 28, and friend Jason Hodges, 25, also of Pinckney, were found unconscious and unresponsive in a bedroom by family members, according to a Hamburg Township Police news release.

Strauss could not be revived and died. An autopsy will be preformed on Strauss's body to determine the cause of death.

Hodges was revived and arrested on suspicion of possession of heroin, which officers found along with drug paraphernalia, according to the release.

Hodges was transported to the Livingston County Jail and was arraigned Sunday and charged with possession of less than 25 grams of heroin, a sheriff's deputy said. His bail is set at $150,000.

Strauss had been released from the Livingston County Jail Friday afternoon after serving several months for burglary, the press release said.

According to the release, "addicts fail to recognize that their body's tolerance for the drug significantly changes after not using while in jail or a treatment program."

"We're getting great support from our judges and probation officers in making sure opiate addicts stay in jail long enough to get them clean," Hamburg Township Police Chief Steve Luciano said in the news release. "What we don't have is an affordable long-term in-patient treatment facility for them when they are released from jail."



Thu, Dec 23, 2010 : 12:12 p.m.

To Carl Yes! I couln't agree with you more.


Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 9:46 p.m.

Unbelievable this happened.So sad. Funny thing is,this spring I asked on here," why a big Heroin ring bust in Livingston and Washtenaw counties wasnt reported on by Ann"I got a lame answer of only Washtenaw county news is focused on here a thought oh,more in depth great reporting on stories like a lovely walk in Ann Arbor on a spring day or some other non important drivel.Lets try and get back to news that makes a difference and not filler.


Sat, Dec 11, 2010 : 2:11 p.m.

Seems to me like livingston county should make more effort to get these people the help they really need not put them in a jail cell for a few months and call em good.Unfortuanately there is no money for them to make with a patient in rehab not a jail cell.I knew Katie personally and she was a wonderful person before her addiction,an addiction that she prolly would've overcome with the correct help.I like the comment about not having long term inpatient programs,just more positive reassurance the police and court system dont really care about helpin us,just how much money they can leach til they gotta let us free.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 5:16 p.m.

Please come to the Pinckney Coalition meeting being held this Thursday night @6:30 at St. Marys. The guest speaker is a lovely woman who lost her daughter in much the same way as Katie lost her life. She is now raising her granddaughter. She is on a mission to bring change! Please come and support her and our community.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

Sorry all, I'm being sarcastic. But I'm glad to see so many people siding with my actual feelings. I'd love to see what the removed posts said, I suspect nothing worse than what was reported by the police already.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 10:27 a.m.

Bob, your comment is wonderful but our family and friends already have been discussing this for a few years now. The problem is widespread and we are all very frustrated by the lack of any effective solution as we watch our friends die or squander their potential.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 10:21 a.m.

Thank you simpleways. The article is correct. I know both of them and had to be the person to inform of Katie's death to a family member. Katie has also left behind two small children. Heroin is widespread in Pinckney and several people I have grown up with have become dependent on it. There have been over 15 fatal overdoses in Pinckney since 2007, but the only stats being kept are by a student group at the high school so there is no way to tell if they may have missed some reports. Everyone in Pinckney who isn't a shut-in knows someone who has died or is currently struggling with heroin. Growing up in Pinckney (I'm only 24 so that isn't so long ago!), the feeling is of an upper-middle-class suburb impervious to crime. We didn't lock doors, you could leave your car running while you went into a store without fear of it being stolen, and the drugs of choice by most students was marijuana, ecstasy, and psychedelics. In the last few years I have seen the spread of heroin in my hometown and it is heart wrenching to watch. There is no support or local inpatient OR outpatient (I don't consider Brighton or Howell local because a lot of users no longer have cars to get them there).


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 10:14 a.m.

@Bob: Well said.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 10:11 a.m.

I don't see where anything in the article blames the victim. It is a statement of fact that the police are investigate a possible overdose. Sugar coating the facts are not going to change anything. It is unfortunate for both Ms Strauss and her family. But it is helpful for others to know that drug use can result in very unfortunate results. Perhaps this article can serve to open a conversation with others who have family or friends using drugs and not thinking it affects others. My condolences to the Strauss family and friends.

Chris 8 - YPSI PRIDE

Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 1:30 a.m.

I have my 28 year old Brothers name tatooed in my arm with his year of birth and year of death. He was found dead under exact circimstances after not being heard from for 24 hours. This is an obvious heroin overdose in this situation. My brother was found in almost the exact same manner. The empty bag on the counter with traces of heroin and the needle next to his body. I'm sure he didn't suffer at all. He was found on his knees with his head on the floor in front of him. According to the police the scene looked as if he stuck himself and it was lights out a few seconds later. There is no argument that the above story is an OBVIOUS heroin overdose. What needs to be done at this point is passing of a law that holds the dealer responsible when there is an overdose whether it results in death or serious injury. The District Attorney fought hard and the passed the law in Nassau County, New York right before my Brothers dealer sold him the fatal dose. The dealer was the 4th person arrested under this law and is facing serious charges and a very long jail sentence. A heroin addict is a very sick person. Without help it's more then likely they will be dead within a year or two of starting the habit. The dealer never failed to show up at my brothers door on payday. How he got started on this is beyond me, but the dealer kept him supplied well. My brother did a jail sentence and died 3 days after he was released. The above so called "speculation" is very true. My brother thought he could handle it after being clean for a while and he is six feet under. It's time to start looking into the suppliers and pass laws like this in every state.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 12:51 a.m.

@susan that's cuz she's usually relegated to traffic duty @loves fall i don't agree with their policies but this one seems like a fairly safe assumption considering what was found in the room

Susan Montgomery

Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 12:43 a.m.

Y'all need to get new, more serious/professional photographs. The smiling photograph of Ms. Lockwood next to the deadline about a death just seems so incongruous..


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 12:26 a.m.

To loves_fall This is a clear case of an OD so I don't see why this so full of speculation. We have needles, heroin and even a surviving witness. Let's please stop tip toeing around the fact of heroin addiction in this area. We have to stand up and refuse to be in denial! It is a horrible drug which makes victims of us all! You are so right, she is a victim of a very unfortunate and tragic accident. My heart goes out to her family and friends.


Tue, Dec 7, 2010 : 9:29 p.m.

Wow, I'm surprised that the Hamburg Twp. Police Department would release a statement so full of speculation on the cause of this woman's death, one that clearly blames the victim of this unfortunate, tragic accident, especially given that the autopsy is still pending. It just seems so uncivil. I'm surprised that given's delicate sensibilities, they even included those quotes in their story. I'd love to make an actual comment, but I don't think it would last more than a couple seconds on here.