A 20-year-old woman whose body was found on the side of a Lexington road Feb. 21 died of an overdose of cocaine and heroin, Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said Friday.
The death of Kyley E. Palmer is among 11 cases that the Fayette County Coroner's office has investigated since Jan.1 that have been attributed to heroin overdoses, Ginn said. In all of 2012, there were 22 heroin overdose deaths, he said.
Palmer, who had three small children, had battled drug addiction. She had been in a treatment center at least twice, her mother, Beni Sue Parsons, said Friday. Talking about her daughter's drug problem publicly "is something we are willing to do to help others," she said.
Palmer's body was found on the 6800 block of Leeann Lane, which is off Old Richmond Road.
Police spokesman Sherelle Roberts said Friday that investigators were trying to determine how Palmer's body ended up there.
"She was discarded on the side of the road, and somebody needs to answer for that," Parsons said.
"I really don't want Kyley's death to be in vain. I know she had a purpose," Parsons said.
Parsons said she has talked to people struggling with addiction who said that Kyley had been an inspiration to them when she was in recovery. Since February, Parsons said, other people told her that their lives were saved because they presumed Kyley died from an overdose and they were compelled to work on their drug problems. Parsons said that an addict has to want recovery.
"There's a fine line between enabling and helping, and it's up to the family to determine that line, and you just never know," said Parsons, who is now raising Palmer's children.
Ginn and other Lexington officials have started a task force to find solutions to the city's growing heroin problem.
Most parts of the state have seen an increase in heroin overdose fatalities and arrests since authorities cracked down on trafficking in prescription pain pills.
Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 230-5209. Twitter: @vhspears