WARREN RUDA / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
The urn of Mariah Noon sits next to framed photo as her daughters, Adrianna Noon and Mariah Burke along with her mother, Maryann Sura, discuss the overdose death.

PLYMOUTH — Mariah Noon’s body still felt warm when her fiance found her in bed the morning of Feb. 4, 2017.

On the other side of the apartment, their friend Shawn was ice cold, indicating his death came first.

One basement apartment. One night. Two drug deaths.

Mariah’s sister, Dacia, who lives in the same building, hasn’t stepped foot in the apartment since the grim discovery.

“I can’t go in there — and my daughter lives down there,” she said.

Investigators initially considered the twin deaths on East Main Street to be suspicious before ruling the friends overdosed on drugs together. Both consumed the synthetic opioid fentanyl and had other drugs in their systems, officials said.

Mariah, 36, had been struggling with sobriety for years and had recently moved into the apartment building with Dacia.

Dacia was making her detox and stay sober. Upset by the house rules, Mariah decided to live below Dacia in a basement apartment, where both of their teenage daughters live.

“She got mad at me and left,” Dacia recalled.

According to Mariah’s family, the day before the overdose, Shawn knocked on their door, said he got kicked out of his house and asked if he could stay for a few days.

He wouldn’t last a day.

They Citizens’ Voice is not fully identifying Shawn because efforts to reach his family were not successful.

While Dacia refuses to revisit the apartment, Mariah’s daughter, Adrionna, 19, still lives there.

“I feel close to her down there. I feel safe,” Adrionna said. “She was a great mother — except for her past. She had bad past that led her to drugs.”

Mariah left behind another daughter, who also was named Mariah.

After her mother’s death, little Mariah, 15, checked into an inpatient treatment center for trauma and stress, where she spent six months.

“My mom was my best friend,” she said. “I had to get help. It was too much for me to handle.”

Maryann Sura, 56, of Larksville, thinks her daughter’s propensity to use drugs started as a teenager when doctors and school officials recommended she be medicated to deal with hyperactive behavior.

She declined and took classes with her daughter for six weeks at the Children’s Service Center in Wilkes-Barre. School officials and doctors didn’t see any change, and again recommended medication — such as Ritalin, a stimulant commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Sura said.

“I did it. I didn’t want to, but I did it,” Sura said. “I think it taught her how to self-medicate.”

Mariah got a paper route at age 14 and took the nursing program at West Side Technical School. She even helped with her father’s dry wall business when her parents were out of town.

“We gave her all the books and she paid all the bills,” Sura said.

In the years to come, Mariah would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder and stricken with giant cysts on her ovaries that required surgery and pain medication.

Mariah Noon

Mariah eventually started using street drugs and began stealing from the family.

“She became a totally different person I didn’t know,” Sura said. “That wasn’t my daughter.”

Sura eventually stopped talking to Mariah for more than two years.

“I thought tough love would work,” Sura said. “But it didn’t.”

They reconnected in the year leading up to her death. Sura thought Mariah was doing well.

“She called me and told me she went and got some help. She said she couldn’t promise she would never try it again, but she would try,” Sura said.

Sura pulled out the urn of her daughter’s ashes and began to cry. She said she hopes the person who sold the drugs to her is identified and arrested one day.

“I consider this drug dealer a serial killer. Yes, she wasn’t forced to take it, but he should have known it could kill someone. I wish he gets caught. I want him to be severely punished,” Sura said. “She was beautiful and this is where she ended up.”

Contact the writer:
bkalinowski@citizensvoice.com
570-821-2055; @cvbobkal