Lawmaker's daughter, boyfriend arrested for pregnant woman's drug overdose death
BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -
The Brown County Sheriff's Office is holding a news conference to provide details about the arrest of a state lawmaker's daughter and her boyfriend.
Cassie Nygren and Shawn M. Gray are facing charges for the drug overdose death of a pregnant woman, according to the Brown County Sheriff's Office.
During a news conference, the Sheriff's Office said their investigation started on June 2 when they were called to the 1500 block of S. Webster Ave in Allouez for a report of a pregnant woman who was not breathing.
Officers found 32-year-old Jennifer Skeen dead. She was 30-33 weeks pregnant. Her unborn child was also dead.
The medical examiner's office determined that Skeen died of an overdose of the potent opioid fentanyl, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Investigators determined that Nygren and Gray were persons of interest in Skeen's death.
The Drug Task Force conducted a controlled buy of heroin from Nygren and Gray.
On Oct. 10, officers located and attempted to take Gray and Nygren into custody. They were driving in a car with Nygren's 14-month-old child.
They fled from officers, and due to the reckless nature of their driving, officers did not give chase. However, the duo was taken into custody.
Jail records show Nygren, 28, is facing charges of two counts of Reckless Homicide/Deliver Drugs; Manufacture/Deliver Heroin; Neglecting a Child; and Maintain a Drug Trafficking Place.
Gray, a sex offender, was booked on charges of reckless homicide and drug charges in this case. Gray was also arrested for Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registry, Providing False Information to Sex Offender Registry, Resisting an Officer, and Bail Jumping, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Nygren's Facebook states that she is engaged to Gray.
Cassie Nygren has had a public battle with heroin abuse. It inspired her father, Republican state lawmaker John Nygren, to pass bills focused on heroin and opioid addiction in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker has signed several bills in the HOPE (Heroin, Opioid, Prevention and Education) Agenda into law.
Rep. Nygren released this statement regarding his daughter's arrest:
“First and most importantly, I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences for the loss of life. There are no words that we as a family can offer to give any real comfort for the tragic loss.
"To the family and friends of the victims of this tragedy, please know that you are in our prayers and that our hearts are heavy.
“Cassie has publicly struggled with addiction and recovery for several years. This is a strong reminder of how fragile the road to recovery is. We will continue to support and pray for her recovery.
“This is just another example, in a seemingly endless line, of the disastrous and destructive consequences addiction continues to have on families and communities nationwide. These stories are the motivating factor behind all our work in the legislature to fight this epidemic.
“In this time of extreme sadness and sorrow, I request that privacy and respect be extended to those grieving from their loss.”
In 2010, Nygren was convicted of narcotics possession and sentenced to state prison.
Action 2 News spoke to Cassie Nygren in 2013. She told us, "I was raised right, given morals to not do things that I've done so every time I come back here to try it again, I can't bear it. It's like a label I'm never going to be able to shake so I turn back to the drugs."