Oklahoma DHS was told mother of dead teen was using drugs, but did not intervene

Oklahoma DHS fielded several complaints about the home life of a teenager who overdosed on methamphetamine at a family reunion this summer. Her mother is charged with murder.
BY ANN KELLEY Modified: October 15, 2010 at 9:29 am •  Published: October 15, 2010
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Before 15-year-old Linda Tucker died of a drug overdose during a family reunion this summer, child welfare services had fielded numerous complaints alleging her mother's inability to care for the teenager and her four siblings.

Among those were allegations that Doris Sharrane Rigsby, 33, of Waukomis was using methamphetamine.

Tucker died June 25 at a convenience store near Lake Carl Blackwell in Stillwater. Authorities say she had been injected with 10 times the lethal dose of methamphetamine.

Prosecutors are holding her mother responsible.

Rigsby is charged in Payne County District Court with first-degree murder. Also facing murder charges are her boyfriend, Jeffrey Alan Phillips, 30, of Enid, and their alleged drug dealer, Heather Lynn Gaddis, 30, of Tulsa.

Tucker's brother, Joseph Logan Tucker, 17, told authorities he bought the methamphetamine at his mother's request, and that he, Rigsby, Phillips and his sister used the drug at the reunion.

Payne County District Attorney Rob Hudson has said he considers Logan Tucker a victim, and that the teenager is assisting with the investigation.

Upon Tucker's death, child welfare workers intervened and a deprived juvenile case has been opened. Family members say the four children are living with relatives. Their mother remains in jail.

DHS intervention

This week The Oklahoman received a response to its inquiry from the state Department of Human Services concerning prior investigations connected to Rigsby and her five children.

Child welfare officials reported there were nine calls to DHS on behalf of the children from October 2008 to March 2010.

The allegations include:

• The children were unsupervised, abandoned and not attending school regularly.

• The children had a disruptive home life and were staying in a hotel or scattered among relatives.

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