Oklahoma drug rehabilitation center under investigation after third death in nine months

Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, of Owasso, was found dead Thursday at Narconon Arrowhead. Her father says she didn't receive proper treatment.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Modified: July 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm •  Published: July 24, 2012

A Pittsburg County drug rehabilitation center is under investigation after a third patient died in nine months.

The most recent incident at Narconon Arrowhead involves Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, of Owasso, whose body was found at the center about 9:20 a.m. Thursday, Sheriff Joel Kerns said.

“Due to the number of deaths at the center, an investigation has been opened,” Kerns said. He said the center has about 150 patients.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was called to assist with the investigation, the sheriff said.

OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown confirmed the agency is working with the sheriff's office. OSBI agents will focus on the most recent death, she said.

Earlier deaths

Two previous deaths were reported at Narconon Arrowhead in the past nine months. Gabriel Graves, 32, of Owasso, died Oct. 26, and Hillary Holten, 21, of Carrollton, Texas, died April 11.

Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28, died March 3, 2009, at a Eufaula hospital after she was transferred from the center, Kerns said.

The Werninck family filed a lawsuit against the company in Pittsburg County District Court on June 1, 2010, and settled April 15, 2011. Terms of the settlement are confidential.

Kerns said deputies picked up Murphy's roommate, Destanie Ramsey, 19, of Holdenville, Thursday night after she called the sheriff's office and said she wanted to leave the rehabilitation center.

The sheriff said there are no obvious signs of foul play in Murphy's death. Authorities are waiting on a toxicology report, which often takes 12 weeks to complete.

Several calls to the state medical examiner's office seeking information about Murphy's death were not returned.

Kerns said Murphy had just returned to the center after a brief home visit.

“It appears she brought back with her prescription drugs that she did not have a prescription for,” he said.

Her father, Robert Murphy, said: “I want to see a full and complete investigation by the OSBI. I want answers why my daughter didn't receive medical attention, and due to the negligent acts, it is my belief they (Narconon Arrowhead) are unsafe and should be shut down.”

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