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Birth mom of slain girl hospitalized for likely drug OD

Published: Fri, July 4, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.




Jackie Bacher, birth mother of the slain Gina Burger, is recovering at St. Elizabeth Health Center after an apparent heroin overdose in her apartment.

Bacher was taken to the Youngstown hospital after the overdose Wednesday night. She was listed in critical condition early Thursday. But as of late Thursday, her condition improved and she was transferred to a room for patients not in need of intensive care.

According to a police report, a concerned neighbor called police about an unresponsive Bacher.

Authorities arrived at the apartment on the third floor of 987 Compass West at 7:51 p.m. Wednesday.

Bacher was found on a couch, going in and out of consciousness.

Lane EMS and Austintown Fire Department staff performed a medical evaluation and then Bacher was transported to St. Elizabeth by Lane.

Austintown Police Chief Robert Gavalier said there were no test results from the overdose case as of Thursday afternoon. “That’s why we’re not saying anything,” he said.

The report said, however, that authorities found three burnt spoons with suspected heroin residue on each and “several hypodermic needles” in the top drawer of a nightstand in one of the bedrooms. Also on top of that nightstand were torn bags, according to the report.

The report listed possible charges of misdemeanor possession of drugs and possessing drug-abuse instruments.

The neighbor told police two people “abuse drugs inside the apartment” and the neighbor “fears for” the safety of a 3-year-old living in the apartment, according to the report. Dog feces was found on the floor of the child’s bedroom.

Before authorities arrived, Ashley DiRenzo, 23, Bacher’s natural daughter, left the apartment with her 3-year-old boy, Jayden DiRenzo. The mother is also known as Ashley Stiles.

Randall Muth, executive director of the Mahoning County Children Services Board, said the agency received a report from Austintown police about DiRenzo and her son about 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

The agency, Muth said, found the two about 6 p.m. and are working with the family — who he described as being “very cooperative” — to “ensure the child is safe while their issues are resolved.”

He added, “We’ve achieved a good plan with the child,” but declined to discuss details because of confidentiality issues.

“We always try to engage a family voluntarily” because “the outcomes are more positive than going to court,” Muth said.

He explained that working with families and the resources through their organization are successful about 50 percent of the time. “The other half unfortunately need court intervention,” he said.

Gina Burger’s body was found June 25 in Tri-County Industries landfill in Grove City, Pa. Ricki D. Williams IV was arraigned Wednesday in Mahoning County Area Court on charges including aggravated murder and abuse of a corpse.

Authorities said she had been stabbed in the chest in a neighbor’s apartment and her body was dumped in a trash bin at Compass West on June 23.

The neighbor, who had been held captive, is a key witness.

The Vindicator obtained from police a list of calls to 987 Compass West since September 2012 that is eight pages long with 91 entries.

Within that document, there are incidents involving Williams and reports involving Burger, Bacher and DiRenzo.

Williams is mentioned in the breakdown of calls to the building two times: Jan. 24 for a domestic dispute call, and June 9 for an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The June 9 report said Williams would be warned off the property if seen at the apartment complex again. His return June 23 led to a misdemeanor criminal-trespass charge.

Bacher was listed only once in the breakdown of calls, for Wednesday night’s overdose, while DiRenzo was listed twice.

DiRenzo was listed on March 18 for an anonymous tip that she has “drugs going in and out of” the apartment and the second time for putting a hole in a wall on April 24.

The listing also has Gina Burger’s initial missing-person call on June 23 at 10:51 p.m.

Contributor: David Skolnick


1bmanresident(597 comments)posted 2 months, 4 weeks ago

And now we will begin to learn the TRUE story behind this once seemingly "random" act of violence. Perhaps there wasn't any "tea bags" involved. Drug deal gone bad? Apples don't fall far from the tree. How tragic is it that a daughter loses her life because of a lifestyle she was unwittingly brought into.

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2motherjones(34 comments)posted 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Let me guess what arrangements were made. They are moving her into a rent free house or apartment at the cost of all of us who are commenting. We are also paying for the mothers stint in the hospital for her drug overdose. To bad the ambulance didn't get lost along the way there

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3app68(22 comments)posted 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I would hope to be wrong but wonder if she was going down to get her mother drugs? Why else would a few hours go by without her wondering where she was at.....waiting on her drugs to show up. I also would of liked to see more done when her real mother contacted police back in December. The only thing left is to hope that the death penalty is used in this case.

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4kentadjunct62(3 comments)posted 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Work hard today, ladies and gentlemen. You're going to have to front the cash for that nice, fat hospital bill for this poor, sick woman. Better yet, send cash directly to her.

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5DACOUNTRYBOY(229 comments)posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago

If the libs had their way a drug voucher would accompany food stamps along with a monthly cash grant and free housing. We have seen what drugs do to people in this case but that will be quickly forgotten. After a few years when this case comes to trial and people are no longer livid over what happened I look for plea bargaining to give this young 18 year old boy another chance at a life of his choosing. Today this may be a death penalty case but tomorrow we will hear how he could better serve society when released. His being alive while Gina lies in the grave is not justice.

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6kensgirl(608 comments)posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The bottom line is that some POS murdered this girl in cold blood. He is worse than an animal. He smirked while in court. No feelings of remorse whatsoever. I bet he came from a home where love was never displayed. He is just the tip of an inner city neighborhood where women have chilren and society is left to raise them. They either end up dead or in prison. Most become addicts. The problem is only getting worse. I believe everyone on welfare should be drug tested. This is only fair to those of us who have to pay into it. After all the 4th of July festivities are over we can now get back to common sense and try to fix the problem. Those of us who don't take drugs or commit crimes need to be free from those that do. Try this idiot who killed this girl and then if convicted put him on death row. And not for 30 years. Waste of tax dollars, He'll have it better in prison that what he had at home.

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