LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The close-knit community of tattoo artists in Lafayette are in shock following the announcement that one of their own died suddenly Wednesday.
Lyric Verrett, just four days ago, on April 9 celebrated her 21st birthday.
The former Lafayette High student, who was rising star in the arts community, was found dead inside her apartment following years of struggle with addiction.
Her mother, Casey Leleux, announced the sad news on her Facebook timeline.
“My baby girl is gone. We love you so much and will always love you.”
An official cause of death has not been determined, but there are indications that she died after ingesting a pill laced with fentanyl and overdosed, Leleux said.
Lafayette Police confirmed with News 10 that just after 7 a.m. officers responded to reports of a possible overdose.
According to police spokesperson Sgt. Robin Green, on arrival, they located a female victim who was unresponsive.
Green said despite efforts to revive the victim, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The tattoo artist, who was beloved in her community, was consistently booked and busy.
“She was described by many as a passionate entrepreneur. There are people walking around with her art work tattooed all over their body,” Leleux said.
Fentenyl is 80-90 times more potent than morphine and extremely deadly. Varying amounts of fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds have been found in counterfeit pills and other illicit drugs, increasing the
risk of fatal and non-fatal overdoses, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
“The very last time I saw Lyric, I hugged her and told her I love her and that I was very proud of her for making good choices,” Leleux remembered.
She says she will take time to mourn her daughter’s death and then work on getting others to understand how dangerous fentanyl can be.
“One pill ended her life in a couple hours. The suddenness, the lack of understanding about what a dangerous decision that was” is what she says she hopes to shed a light on for others.
Details about plans to honor and celebrate Verrett’s life are forthcoming, she said.