Lorene Freeman was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine when she asphyxiated on three small plastic bags and died May 20, the Medical Examiner's Office has reported.
The manner of death, Associate Medical Examiner Janet Pillow said, was accidental.
Those details, made available Monday, should help close the investigation into Miss Freeman's death. With no evidence of trauma or foul play, authorities already had suspected that Miss Freeman died accidentally. The information about her alcohol and drug use likely will help confirm those theories.
Miss Freeman's friends and boyfriend have said that the 23-year-old secretary was upset the week of her death. Authorities had arrested her days earlier for cocaine possession, and she feared police were chasing her.
In the hours before she died, Miss Freeman expressed those feelings loudly and in odd fashion, witnesses said. She was agitated. She yelled. She asked friends to hide out with her in a hotel room.
She even tried to leap from a moving car.
"She was like schizoid, paranoid, kept looking out the window and things," said Charles Falloure, one of the people who socialized with Miss Freeman just before she died.
It's still not clear where the plastic bags came from or why Miss Freeman swallowed them.
Miss Freeman's mother, Carla Kittel, declined comment Tuesday, because she had not seen a copy of the medical examiner's report. According to witnesses, this is what happened on May 19 and the early hours of May 20:
Miss Freeman and her boyfriend, Daniel Grenville, lived at 2470 S Ringley Ter., just west of County Road 581 in Inverness. The couple had been drinking beer before they arrived at the home of two friends: Charles Falloure and Maryann Stoltz.
During an interview with investigators _ a tape recording of which the Times reviewed this week _ Falloure said Miss Freeman was highly agitated and talkative. In fact, Grenville took her home about 8:30 p.m., only 30 minutes into the visit.
Miss Freeman returned to the friends' house alone. She had told Grenville she was headed for Missouri.
Falloure said he and the two women started drinking beer between 9 and 10 p.m. Miss Freeman previously told him she had consumed "four bottles" earlier in the evening, although she didn't elaborate.
Falloure's memory of the time might have been off. Grenville's boss, David Robbins, said he heard Miss Freeman yelling in the background when Grenville called him about 11:30 p.m. from home.
In any event, while at Falloure's house, Miss Freeman was looking out windows and, in Falloure's words, "bouncing off the walls." At one point, Miss Freeman suggested that they all rent a hotel room to avoid police.
"We were trying to calm her down," Falloure said. "I said, "Lori, you're safe here, there's nothing wrong.' "
About midnight, Falloure and Miss Freeman made a beer run to the SuperAmerica convenience store at State Road 44 and Croft Road. Near CR 581 and SR 44, Miss Freeman was looking behind the car seats. She opened the door as if to jump out. A storm was moving in, and the lightning scared her even more.
Falloure said he turned the car around and returned to his home on Doeskin Loop.
Although Falloure didn't mention it, Miss Freeman found her way to her brother's home about 1 a.m. The brother, Willard Chandler, lives at 1614 Druid Avenue in Inverness, just east of CR 581.
In his interview with authorities, Chandler said his sister stayed about one hour and drank two beers. Again, she talked of her drug arrest and her fear of future trouble.
"She was terrified about that," he told investigators. "She told me about this list. I'm supposed to be on this list, too, me and Bonnie (Reid, his live-in girlfriend.) People they are busting or going to bust" were supposed to be on the list.
Lori, whose nickname was "Lil' Bit," and Grenville, whom friends called "Dan-O," moved too fast for Chandler's taste.
"Their lifestyle is not one that I would have adopted as my own," he told law officers. "They were pretty reckless about life and this (his sister's death) really didn't come as much of a surprise."
Falloure said he and Stoltz brought Miss Freeman home about 2 a.m. They turned her over to Grenville, who had gotten out of bed to open the door.
During his interview with law officers, Grenville said his girlfriend was never too drunk to drive herself home. This was the first time friends had to help her this way, he said.
"This was the quietest I had ever seen Dan. It was very unusual for him," Falloure said.
He added that Miss Freeman also seemed to calm down once she arrived home.
Grenville said Miss Freeman fell and hit her head in the kitchen. He helped her up and headed back to bed, leaving her in the kitchen area.
When he awoke at 7 a.m., Miss Freeman was dead.
Law officers took Grenville to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office and interviewed him. Later that day, still suspecting foul play, they secured a search warrant for the home.
After the interview, Grenville paged his boss and the two men met at the Family Tree restaurant in Inverness. Robbins asked Grenville if he had struck her.
The answer, Grenville said, was no.
Days later, after its initial review, the Medical Examiner's Office announced that it had found one large plastic bag wadded up with two smaller plastic bags and a small piece of what appeared to be cotton. The materials were lodged in the top of the larynx, blocking the trachea.