Thursday, August 03, 2000

Daughter called troubled

Mother: Victim had medical problems, addiction

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Brenda McKee sat on the couch in her Oakley living room Wednesday morning and described her deceased daughter, Myra, as a troubled woman who turned to drugs to ease physical and mental pain.

        But Mrs. McKee also spoke of her daughter as a “a beautiful person with a lot of love in her heart. Anyone who came in contact with her loved Myra. She was sunshine, that's what she was.”

        Myra Ann McKee's body was found face down Tuesday morning in an outdoor work-break area behind a Mosteller Road electrical supply store in Sharonville.

        An autopsy being conducted by the Hamilton County Coroner's office was incomplete Wednesday, but Sharonville Police Lt. Alan Hayes said he is still treating Ms. McKee's death as a homicide.

        The 32-year-old Oakley woman had numerous medical problems, he said: “She missed several kidney dialysis treatments and had drug problems. She was drug-addicted (to) crack cocaine, street drugs.”

        Ms. McKee had been dropped off, anonymously, at hospitals several times over the past two years, Lt. Hayes said.

        “Nobody knows who dropped her,” he added.

        Police are still seeking information about who might have left her near Mosteller Road, and in what condition. Ms. McKee was last seen alive by her mother Sunday night.

        “I doubt anyone is going to call in saying, "I dropped her off,'” Lt. Hayes said. “But, we have had people call in to say they knew her and were surprised she lived this long.”

        Mrs. McKee said she, too, would like to know who drove her daughter to Sharonville. Mother and daughter lived together in a neat, two-story frame home on Berwyn Place.

        Mrs. McKee said she drove her daughter, whom family members called Jane, to Slammers, a bar in the Norwood Plaza Shopping

        Center off Montgomery Road, Sunday night. Ms. McKee frequented the tavern with her many friends and she tended bar infrequently there several years ago when the bar was named Cap's, her mother said.

        It was the last time Mrs. McKee saw Myra alive.

        “She wanted to take my car (Sunday night), and I wouldn't let her,” Mrs. McKee said. “So, we left together. I was going to take her to Walgreens for some medicine. She was a week overdue for her dialysis, and I tried to get her to go to the hospital, but she would not go. She hated dialysis. It was so painful. She would just put it off.”

        Mrs. McKee said her daughter, who had attended Mariemont High School but dropped out about 15 years ago, could not drink alcohol because of kidney disease.

        “But, she loved to play pool with her friends,” Mrs. McKee said.

        Myra McKee was diagnosed with kidney disease in 1995. About two years ago, Ms. McKee got into crack, her mother said.

        The drug use coincided with a doctors' decision 21 months ago that Ms. McKee's kidney disease had worsened to the point she needed regular dialysis treatments.

        “She couldn't drink anymore, and she was trying to find a way to get away from the pain (caused by her illness). She turned to the crack, and she got hooked,” Mrs. McKee said.

        Because her daughter often avoided the dialysis and had drug problems, she was not eligible for a kidney transplant.

        Family members and friends had offered to provide her with a kidney, Mrs. McKee said. The family went to Hamilton County Probate Court twice to try to have Ms. McKee placed in a facility to help her deal with her health — mental and physical. An attempt to place her in a mental-health treatment facility also was unsuccessful. The agency could not take her because of her kidney condition, Mrs. McKee said.

        “I want to tell other parents (that) crack's a powerful drug and how I watched my own daughter (decline) into this state, and they need to watch out for things like this,” Mrs. McKee said.

        “Myra was a Christian girl who believed in the Lord. She was a dreamer. You don't know what a person is going through. You can't walk in their shoes. But I saw her pain,” Mrs. McKee said as she began to cry.

        She wonders whether her daughter wanted to die.

        “Myra's at peace now. She is in God's hands. He took the pain away and he took her home.”

        Funeral arrangements for Myra McKee are incomplete at the Witt, Good & Kelsch Funeral Home, 3026 Madison Road, Oakley.


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