Leslie Carter died of drug overdose? Stepmother Ginger says she fell in shower
Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter's sister Leslie may have died from an overdose of prescription drugs, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned, while authorities continue to investigate the cause of her mysterious death.
The woman, who took on her husband Mike's last name of Ashton, was just 25 when she passed away after being found unresponsive at her father and stepmother's home in Mayville in upstate New York on Tuesday.
Olanzapine, a drug used to relieve symptoms of schizophrenia, the muscle relaxant Cyclobenzaprine and Alprazolam, used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorder, were found on the scene, according to a report by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office that was obtained by OnTheRedcarpet.com.
The incident was dubbed an "overdose" in the report, which also said the local coroner's office plans to carry out a full autopsy to determine what led to the death.
Her stepmother, Ginger Carter, told police Ashton and her 10-month-old daughter were staying at her home and that she found her in the shower, after which she did not wake up. Ashton had previously lived in Ontario, Canada. Her father, Robert, 59, tried to revive his daughter before paramedics arrived at the house.
"Upon speaking with Ginger and Robert, they stated that Ashton has a long history of mental illness and was on medication for her depression," the report says.
Ginger Carter, 37, also told authorities that she takes medication to treat her own depression, according to the report. It stated that while she spoke with police, she "appeared to be under the influence of an unknown drug" and "had slurred speech, pin point pupils, glassy eyes and kept falling asleep."
"Ginger stated that she took 5-6 pills for her depression," the report said. "Ginger stated that she is only supposed to take 4, but Robert gave her an extra one because of Leslie passing away."
Ginger Carter told police Ashton woke up on Tuesday at about 10 a.m. and later "seemed depressed." She said Ashton asked her to watch her baby "because she was not feeling great." Ginger Carter said she agreed and also made the woman breakfast but that she did not eat much of it.
She said Ashton went to the bathroom "for a while" and when she went to check on her, she found that "Ashton had fallen into the shower." She did not specify whether or not the woman was conscious or responsive.
"Ginger helped Ashton up from the shower and led her to Ginger's bedroom, where she laid Ashton on the bed," the report said. "Ginger does not know how long Ashton was in the bed but went into the bedroom with the baby and put [her] on the bed with Ashton in the hopes that Ashton would wake up and play with the baby."
"Ginger stated that Ashton did not wake up but seemed to be OK and just sleeping," the report added. "Ginger stated that she looked at Ashton and she had all the color to her skin and was breathing. Ginger took the baby out of the room and closed the door. A little while later, Ginger brought the baby back into the room and was feeding the baby on the bed."
Ginger Carter told police that Ashton "still did not wake up but seemed fine." She said she then took the baby out of the room and closed the door.
Ginger Carter did not specify the exact time she found Ashton in the shower or how much time the woman spent inside the bedroom.
"Robert came home soon thereafter and around 4:16 p.m., Ashton was found in the bedroom not breathing or responding," the police report quoted her stepmother as saying. "Robert tried to perform CPR on Ashton."
The police report states that Ginger Carter called 911 at 4:10 p.m. to report that Ashton was "asleep on her bed and not breathing." Paramedics arrived and transported her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 4:59 p.m.
In 2006, Leslie Carter appeared in the E! Entertainment Television reality series, "House of Carters" with her brother Nick, who turned 32 on January 28; her brother Aaron and his twin sister Angel, 24, and her sister Bobbie Jean, 30. The show aired for one season.
Aaron Carter, who underwent rehab for one month in 2011 to treat "emotional and spiritual issues, responded to news about her death on his Twitter page on Wednesday, saying: " #broken #distraught #pain #confusion #disbelief #agony #Anger #lost #Sad #Family #LeslieCarter #empty #Leslie #dazed #Heaven #Sister."
Nick Carter, who once battled a 10-year-long addiction to alcohol and drugs such as cocaine, said he planned to still join the Backstreet Boys when the all-male group tours the United Kingdom and Ireland in April, saying on his Facebook page: Performing is cathartic to me. I am dedicating the rest of my tour to my sister since she loved to watch me perform."
He also said he plans to talk about his sister's death on the ABC show "Good Morning America" on Friday, February 3.