PROVO — A Pleasant Grove woman has been charged with manslaughter, accused of failing to get help for her daughter who overdosed on dozens of Oxycodone pills.
Traci Sorenson, 44, was charged last week in 4th District Court with a second-degree felony in the death of her daughter, Kaydie, 26, on May 4, 2007, in Pleasant Grove, according to court documents.
"Traci was aware that (Kaydie) had ingested nearly 90 Oxycodone pills and numerous Alprazolam tablets hours before her death," said Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Cody Cullimore. "It's just one of those responsibility things. The mom should have gotten her help."
Cullimore said Sorenson had called her mother that day because she had been beaten up by someone who stole her prescription pills. Kaydie Sorenson then asked if she could live with her mom, rather than in a "trashy motel" in Provo, Cullimore said.
Traci Sorenson agreed but wouldn't go get her, so Kaydie Sorenson took a taxi to Pleasant Grove, Cullimore said.
Kaydie Sorenson had a prescription for the drug, which she refilled at a local pharmacy. Traci Sorenson later found her on the couch, groggy and with slurred speech, passing in and out of consciousness, Cullimore said.
Kaydie Sorenson became combative when her mother questioned her about how many pills she had taken, so Traci Sorenson gave the pills back, then left the house for an appointment, police said.
When Sorenson got back from the appointment, she found her daughter unconscious on the couch and an empty pill bottle beside her.
"She moved her from the living room to the bedroom, tried to wake her up, then laid her on the floor and her and her boyfriend went to bed," Cullimore said. When they checked on her again, around 8 a.m. the next day, Kaydie was dead.
"I think (Traci Sorenson) just thought she could monitor it, make sure she'd be OK," Cullimore said. "She thought (Kaydie) would come out of that."
Attempts to reach Sorenson were unsuccessful, and she does not yet have an attorney for the case.
A 20-year-old daughter called for an ambulance in the morning, and police first interviewed Traci Sorenson at the hospital.
The mother told officers she hadn't called police because she knew Kaydie had warrants for her arrest.
"I guess she thought even though her daughter's in medical distress we'd haul her off rather than get her help," Cullimore said. "The whole sadness aspect is (the depth) that this family's life has sunk that they would let her lay down on the ground and die because they were afraid to call the cops."
The toxicology report indicates that Kaydie Sorenson died from drug poisoning from large amounts of Oxycodone and Alprazolam in her blood, Cullimore said, citing the state's autopsy and toxicology report.
Traci Sorenson wasn't arrested but has been issued a summons, which requires her to appear before a judge in 4th District Court on Nov. 15.
She has been arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail 10 times since 1990 on a variety of allegations, including disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, assault and distributing a controlled substance.
In criminal cases involving death, aggravated murder is the most serious and is a capital or first-degree felony. Manslaughter is a second-degree felony and negligent homicide is a class A misdemeanor, according to state code. When filing charges, prosecutors consider the actual act as well as the mental state at the time of the act.
"Her actions that night and that morning, we'll try to prove she acted recklessly," said Deputy Utah County Attorney Matt Lloyd. "Just the fact that she didn't call is what we're worried about. If somebody's in distress, call — no matter what."