Briana’s ashen face greeted Mr. Conner. Wearing designer jeans and a Kurt Cobain T-shirt, she was lying on her back sprawled out on the basement rec room couch. With motionless eyelids and beautiful long black eyelashes, her expression was frozen as a china doll’s.
Suddenly his heart produced erratic palpitations as his knees buckled and he gasped, “Oh no, no, no! Yes, that’s our Briana.” The detectives restrained him from trying to rush to her. Her boyfriend’s parents’ house was now a homicide scene with yellow plastic tape around the perimeter. Briana was a dead party girl.
Her shaken mother arrived, trembled her way down the stairs and staggered into her husband’s arms. They stood together traumatized and in shock, staring at their youngest child’s chilled corpse. Mrs. Conner started sobbing and unleashing painful sounds like a mortally wounded animal.
Dried blood and a syringe were between Briana’s second and big toe. She was the 25th heroin overdose death in San Diego County that year. Briana had said that when she died she wanted to be cremated, and her parents honored her desire. They spread her ashes onto the blue Pacific from a charter boat, with her family, several friends, and relatives aboard. Briana would have preferred to be scattered in Central Park Lake or off the Manhattan Bridge. This happened one year before Briana’s older sister Zeta met Benton Barrington III.