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Family conducts investigation of Brittany’s death

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  Two weeks after her daughter’s tragic death, Rebecca Tully vows that her memory will never be forgotten the cause of her death will ultimately be revealed.

  “She shouldn’t have died,” Tully said Tuesday afternoon. “This is not an accident.”
  And she wants to prove it.
  “My family and I are doing our own investigation,” Tully said.
  Prosecutors said Brittany Wawrzyniak, 18, died Nov. 8 after she was ejected from the back seat of an alleged drug dealer’s car after buying pills from him.
  “We have to be patient,” said Earl Lane, Wawrzyniak’s step-grandfather. “(Police) are not telling us everything right now.”
  Wawrzyniak met Eric Steven Johnson at the boat launch near 115th Street and Beloit Avenue in Worth. She got into the backseat of his car and handed him $200 in exchange for 30 pills of Clonazepam, prosecutors said.
  The prescription drug is used to treat panic and seizure disorders, according to medical experts.
  Wawrzyniak, a Worth resident and Shepard graduate, began counting the pills while still in the back seat as Johnson drove away. She opened the door of the moving car, was ejected and struck the pavement, prosecutors said.
  She was pronounced dead at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn less than one hour later.
  Johnson, of Peotone, was ordered held on $300,000 bond. He is charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.
  Tully said her daughter had no intention of purchasing drugs. Rather, the drug buy was a ploy to arrange a fight between Wawrzyniak’s friend and another girl, she said.
  “It was all a ruse to set up a fight,” she said.
  Tully contends that if her daughter intended to meet Johnson to purchase pills, the transaction would not have resulted in her death.
  Tully said she is relying on God to guide her through the difficult days following her daughter’s’ death.
  She said she drew strength from the outpouring of support shown during last week’s wake and funeral services.
  Bridgeview police were needed to direct traffic in front of Hann Funeral Home where mourners waited in line for two hours to pay their respects. There was a standing-room-only crowd for funeral services at New Hope Church in Alsip. The family had to turn away people who wanted to attend the luncheon following services, Tully said.
  Wawrzyniak’s friends and family continue to post messages on the RIP Brittany Wawrzyniak Facebook page, which had more than 7,200 “likes” as of Tuesday. Her online memorial fund has raised approximately $11,000.
  Lane said the family is struggling to assume “some sense of normalcy. It’s a period of calming.”
  “There’s nothing you can say, nothing you can do,” said Lane, a Hickory Hills alderman from 1979 to 1991. “We lost a lot of love with Brittany, Brittany was special.”
  “I know where she’s at, and I will see her again,” Tully added.
  Several Facebook posts encourage people who may know more about Wawrzyniak’s death to report the information to the police. Worth police can be contacted at 708-448-3979.
  Attempts to contact Worth police for an update on the investigation were unsuccessful.