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Mourning mother knows her son's life mattered



Marcy Cook is pictured with her son, Isaac Boyd. Isaac spent his teen years in Hannibal, where he lived until 2021. He died of an overdose on Aug. 2, 2023. By talking about his death, she hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl usage. His autopsy showed that he had fentanyl in his system, but also xylazine, which is known as the “zombie drug.” Contributed photo.



MARY LOU MONTGOMERY


Marcy Cook is pictured with her son, Isaac Boyd. Isaac spent his teen years in Hannibal, where he lived until 2021. He died of an overdose on Aug. 2, 2023. By talking about his death, she hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl usage. His autopsy showed that he had fentanyl in his system, but also xylazine, which is known as the “zombie drug.†Contributed photo.

Isaac Boyd is pictured with his beloved skateboard. He died on Aug. 2, 2023. His passions were music, skateboarding and fishing, said his mother, Marcy Cook. While he had a problem with drugs, he was not “just an addict” she said. “He was a person, a human, he had a life, goals.” Contributed photo.


Mourning mother knows

her son's life mattered


MARY LOU MONTGOMERY


When Isaac Boyd was in eighth grade at Hannibal Middle School, he and his friends wrote a rap song about bullying. According to his mother, Marcy Cook, the boys presented it before the entire school population.


He loved to sing and play the guitar, and he used his talent in order to help others. “He always wanted to stick up for kids who were being bullied,” Marcy said in a telephone interview this week from Charleston, S.C. He knew how it felt to be bullied, because he had been bullied himself.


Now, she has taken on a mission - to fight to get justice for her son.


Isaac Boyd died, at the age of 28, at 10:48 p.m. Aug. 2, 2023.


The official cause of death was listed as an overdose, but she believes differently.


She believes he was poisoned. Fentanyl poisoning. 


His autopsy showed that he had fentanyl in his system, but also 

xylazine, which is known as the “zombie drug.”


The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has posted a public safety alert on its website, warning the Americans of a sharp increase in the trafficking of fentanyl mixed with xylazine. “Xylazine, also known as ‘Tranq,’ is a powerful sedative that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved for veterinary use.” 

The agency warns: “Xylazine and fentanyl drug mixtures place users at a higher risk of suffering a fatal drug poisoning. Because xylazine is not an opioid, naloxone (Narcan) does not reverse its effects.”


Isaac died in Hardeeville, S.C., a small town in the Hilton Head region, with a population less than 8,000.


Because his death was categorized as an overdose, “it was never mentioned in the news; nobody knew about it,” Marcy said.


“I want to get it out there that he wasn’t just an addict. He loved music, he was always into music. He played the guitar and he loved skateboarding and fishing. Those were his passions.” In addition, he was in a two-year, long-distance relationship, and he loved his daughter, who lives in Hannibal.


“He was a person, a human, he had a life, goals. He wanted to be a professional rapper. He had some music that he wrote and produced with some guys in Tennessee. My story I want to get out there is that people look at addicts like they are nobody. They all have lives, family and people who care about them. They need help.


“He did struggle with drugs, but he worked, tried to support his family and tried to do right with his life.”


At the time of his death, he was working for an independent contractor, delivering Lowe’s Appliances to people’s homes. Since 2021, when he went to work for the contractor, the job had taken him to Colorado, Tennessee, Mississippi and finally, South Carolina. Also working for the same contractor was Isaac’s step father, and Marcy’s husband, Justin May.


Final hours

Marcy is able to tell of her son’s final hours, thanks in part to his cell phone and an outdoor video camera.


“He was staying at a motel in Hardeeville. Across the street there was a bar and grill that had a motel attached to it. He went over (to the restaurant) by himself to have dinner. He called my husband,” to see if he wanted to join him. But Justin May declined, opting instead to turn in for the night. Marcy’s husband told her that, “Isaac was laughing, the waitress was flirting with him. It was 7 o’clock; he’s having a good time. I talked to my husband right after he talked to Isaac.


“Isaac was going through a hard time with his relationship, and was struggling with depression. I  tried to keep telling him to keep his head up. Then he ran into two men,” at the restaurant, and “they probably had a few drinks. And he ran into someone who had fentanyl.


“There was one working camera outside, and it showed my son walking to the vehicle with two men. About an hour later, Isaac was already dying when they pulled him from the car, left him on the sidewalk and drove off.”


Missing were Isaac’s phone, and his wallet containing cash and bank cards. When Isaac was found, his ID was in the front pocket of his jeans.


“He would always keep his ID in his wallet, Marcy said, believing those two men placed the card in his pocket so police could identify him.


“There are so many things that are so wrong,” she said. “I’ve been here in South Carolina to fight for him. There are so many overdoses in this town. They don’t care because there are so many. These people are getting away with killing people. It is heart breaking.


“My husband has the guilt of not going over there” to the restaurant, Marcy said. “He feels like he could have saved Isaac. He lives with that guilt. I tell him he wasn’t the one who did this; the men who gave him the drugs,” are responsible. “He blames himself for not being there.


“I traveled with my son while he was working this job. I wish I would have been there, maybe I could have saved him; but that’s a mother’s grief.”


While Marcy believes her son was poisoned, police in the town where the incident took place told her that there is not enough evidence. Instead, she said they told her they are pursuing drug charges.


Ironically, Isaac had placed a call to his boss from the restaurant, trying to get these guys a job. “His boss told him he wasn’t looking for anyone at the present. That was around 8:30. His boss told me that. I wish he had gotten their names.”


Marcy is still trying to find out who those men are.


“Isaac was a mamma’s boy. Every day since he’s been gone, I’ve tried my hardest to stay strong to fight for him. They act like he didn’t matter, but he did. He mattered.


“He was moving around from state to state. His plan was to save money and go back to Missouri and get a home so he could have visitation with his daughter,” Marcy said.


Enough is Enough

Marcy Cook has affiliated with a Missouri group, Enough is Enough, which is advocating for awareness of lives lost to drug overdoses. Sabrina Wipfler of Warren County, Mo., came up with the idea of placing the names and faces of people who have overdosed onto billboards. Included is her nephew, who overdosed 11 years ago.


Billboards were set up along I-70 in Warren County, identifying 40 people who died due to drug overdoses.


Early next week, a billboard will go up in Hannibal, identifying, among others, Marcy’s son, Isaac.


“These people shouldn’t be dying this way; we have to get it out there and spread it to the world. These kids don’t know what they’re up against. Maybe it will save somebody else’s family from going through the tragedy.”


Isaac has friends who still live in Hannibal, who Marcy believes need to hear this message.


“I’ve talked to a few of his friends; they need to see these angels (on the billboard). There’s more to life. It could be just one pill, they think its Percocet (an opioid pain reliever), but it’s not.”


Marcy Cook is planning to leave South Carolina and return to Missouri soon. She will stay with her daughter, Laura, in Martinsburg. “She is my rock through this,” Marcy said.


Mary Lou Montgomery retired in 2014 as editor of the Hannibal Courier-Post.



Isaac Boyd is pictured with his beloved skateboard. He died on Aug. 2, 2023. His passions were music, skateboarding and fishing, said his mother, Marcy Cook. While he had a problem with drugs, he was not “just an addict” she said. “He was a person, a human, he had a life, goals.” Contributed photo.



Mary Lou Montgomery retired in 2014 as editor of the Hannibal Courier-Post.


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