MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin family is reflecting on their loved one after she overdosed in December.
Amy Wren said her niece, Olivia Reigel, had a smile that could light up a room.
"She was carefree and loving," Wren said. "She liked photography, liked being outside with her cousins."
Wren said her niece was the oldest of all her cousins and loved being with her family.
After graduating from Edgerton High School in May of 2018, Reigel started classes at Madison College, where she was studying to work in a dentist's office.
In December, she died from a heroin overdose in Beloit.
"It was lots of shock. It was hard to breathe," Wren said. "I had tingly fingers, sheer disbelief this had impacted her, taken her life ultimately."
Wren said it wasn't until later that the family learned Reigelhad recently been introduced to heroin by a friend. On the day she died, she had taken heroin laced with fentanyl. Wren said that's not the girl they remember.
"How she died doesn't ultimately define her," she said. "This is a true epidemic that you think will never impact someone you know, but it absolutely does."
On Friday, the man accused of providing the deadly drugs in December appeared in court for the first time. Chaz Harris, of Beloit, now faces first-degree reckless homicide charges.
"Him being off the street, he's not going to have the ability to affect a family like ours," Wren said.
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