Madison County

18-year-old given drugs. She died after what man did next at Berea McDonald’s, police say.

Rodney Elam
Rodney Elam

An 18-year-old woman died after being found unresponsive in the men’s restroom at a Berea McDonald’s, and the man who allegedly took her there after giving her drugs has been charged.

Rodney Elam, 28, is accused of providing methamphetamine to Sarah Boyken, of Waco, who the Fayette County coroner says died at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington on Saturday night.

According to a release by Berea police, Boyken had already passed out when Elam was seen carrying her into the men’s bathroom at the Glades Road McDonald’s on Jan. 8.

Lt. Jake Reed said the two had met online, and Elam agreed to provide Boyken with the meth. He said the two had been together for about a day when they showed up at McDonald’s at about 5:30 a.m.

WKYT reported that about 25 minutes passed before Elam told a restaurant manager about Boyken and 911 was called.

Reed said “there was definitely a time lapse where he could’ve called sooner, and he didn’t.”

Reed said investigators interviewed Elam at the hospital. He was arrested Thursday and taken to the Madison County Detention Center, where he is charged with first-degree assault and first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

The coroner said Boyken’s cause of death is still pending. An autopsy was performed in Frankfort.

Reed said the charges against Elam could be amended based on the results.

“It’s still an open investigation,” he said.

Funeral arrangements for Boyken are incomplete at Oldham Roberts and Powell Funeral Home in Richmond.

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