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Sep 12, 2017 5:59 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Drug Overdoses Claim Two Lives

A bouquet of flowers placed near the corner of Terry's Trail and Alewife Brook Road in honor of Hallie Ulrich, who was found dead on Thursday, September 7.  JON WINKLER JON WINKLER
Sep 15, 2017 9:53 AM

A young woman and her boyfriend both died of apparent drug overdoses in a span of two days last week, and the double tragedy has led friends to begin an effort to raise funds to help other South Fork residents struggling with addiction.

Hallie Ulrich, 22, a graduate of Pierson High School in Sag Harbor, was found on the grassy shoulder of Alewife Brook Road in East Hampton on the morning of Thursday, September 7, not far from where she had been camping at Cedar Point County Park with her boyfriend, Michael Goericke, 28, and another friend.

Mr. Goericke, who grew up in Water Mill and attended school in Southampton, overdosed on heroin the next day at his mother’s house in Flanders.

“They were two bright, talented, artistic people,” Mr. Goericke’s mother, Lisa Ross, said on Wednesday.

Police are investigating whether fentanyl-laced heroin was a potential cause of their deaths, she said.

Friends and family members described Ms. Ulrich as an intelligent, artistic free spirit who had recently completed treatment for drug addiction. A GoFundMe page honoring her says her life was cut short by opiates.

Mr. Goericke’s mother described him as artistic and a talented skateboarder. “Mike was a real sweetheart,” she said. “He had a soul to him.”

East Hampton Town Police received a 911 call early last Thursday morning, September 7, from Mr. Goericke, who reported that Ms. Ulrich had overdosed, Suffolk County Police Homicide Section Detective Sergeant Charles Leser said earlier this week.

According to Det. Sgt. Leser, Mr. Goericke left Ms. Ulrich in a blanket on the side of the road and then left the area after making the 911 call.

Mr. Goericke’s father, Steve Goericke of Montauk, said on Wednesday that after finding Ms. Ulrich unresponsive in their camping trailer on Thursday morning and repeatedly performing CPR, his son had wrapped her in a blanket and driven to another spot where he could find cellphone reception, dialed 911, and then, “completely distraught,” left to seek help.

According to county police, Town Police—who would not comment or confirm any details about the case—found Ms. Ulrich’s body at approximately 6:30 a.m. County homicide detectives were called to investigate, and after Ms. Ulrich was identified, investigators planned to meet with Mr. Goericke the next day to find out more.

He never showed up to the meeting on Friday. Instead, Mr. Goericke was found unconscious at his mother’s home in Flanders that day. Southampton Town Police Lieutenant Sue Ralph said a 911 call came in at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Friday, and that Mr. Goericke was pronounced dead later that day at Peconic Bay Medical Hospital in Riverhead.

Ms. Ross explained on Wednesday that she had agreed to let her son to stay overnight at her house and that after she left for work, her daughter Kerry and Mr. Goericke’s father had found his bedroom door locked, located a spare key, and found him unconscious. Police found heroin next to the bed, she said.

Lt. Ralph said on Tuesday that it appeared to be a heroin overdose, though that has not been confirmed by blood tests. She added that the investigation into his death is still currently open and being overseen by Southampton Town Police.

Sgt. Leser said that, likewise, the Homicide Section is awaiting the results of Ms. Ulrich’s autopsy and toxicology report to determine what drug was in her system, and how much of it, when she was found. The investigation into her death is still open, though Sgt. Leser said that there appears to be no sign of criminal activity involved in Ms. Ulrich’s overdose.

A GoFundMe page called “The Hallie Rae Foundation” was set up on Monday, with a goal of raising $10,000.

Mr. Goericke's family has asked anyone interested in making a donation in his honor to send it to a Partnership for Drug-Free-Kids, which offers help to families struggling with their son or daughter’s substance use, at Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, drugfree.org.

“After experiencing the unspeakable tragedy of losing their beautiful girl Hallie whose life was cut short due to the grips of opiates, her family wants to raise awareness and help fight against the epidemic in our community,” the GoFundMe page for Ms. Ulrich reads. “We hope to provide more access to greater resources for addiction treatment and education to families who are affected.”

Speaking over the phone on Tuesday, Drew Scott, Hallie’s grandfather and an anchor for News 12 Long Island, talked about Ms. Ulrich’s death and how “heartbroken” he and his family are.

“Hallie was a very gentle, wise old soul,” Mr. Scott said. “She loved and cared for animals, the environment, her family, and even strangers. Whenever my wife, Vivian, was carrying something, she would always help her. She was very special to us.”

Born in 1995—she has a twin sister, Ellison—Ms. Ulrich was a 2013 graduate of Pierson High School and attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for two years, making the dean’s list in her first year.

Mr. Scott acknowledged that she had substance abuse issues and had completed a program through the Southampton Town Drug Court only two months before her death, and that he had worked with her to get her clean for two years.

“Being on the air, I hear about these heroin cases every day. You don’t know what it’s like until it happens to you.”

Mr. Scott said that Ms. Ulrich was dating Mr. Goericke, adding that he and Ms. Ulrich’s family “didn’t approve of” him. She had been with Mr. Goericke just days after she completed her recent drug treatment, he said.

Ms. Ulrich “had so much passion for so many things,” said Holly Zappola, 22, a friend of Ms. Ulrich since kindergarten. She said that she and Ellison had painted poppies outside the Sag Harbor American Legion Post 388 a few years ago, and those flowers are there to this day.

“Everything inspired her,” said Abby Ruiz, 22, another friend of Ms. Ulrich. “She wanted to be herself and create.”

As for Mr. Goericke, Ms. Ross said he had expressed a desire to get help for his drug use, and that he had gone to Greenport for detox treatment and also attended support groups.

“Mike was a really good person,” his father said Wednesday.

Mr. Goericke said his son and Ms. Ulrich had planned to move to Brooklyn, where he was hoping to find a job and perhaps return to school. He had dropped out of high school two weeks before graduation, his mother said.

“He loved people and being out and helping other people,” Ms. Ross said of her son, who most recently had been working for his father in construction. “He was a free spirit and I’d like to remember him being out there and being talented.”

Mr. Scott remembered a random encounter Ms. Ulrich had had with a parrot in a cage while she was working at the antique store Yesterday’s Treasures in Southampton.

“It disturbed her that the parrot was in a cage, and she said, ‘This is unacceptable!’” her grandfather recalled. “When the owner wouldn’t let the parrot out, she trained the parrot to say, ‘Unacceptable!’”

Funeral services were held Tuesday for Ms. Ulrich at Werner Rothwell Funeral Home in Westhampton Beach. Mr. Goericke’s funeral was held Monday at Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton.

A celebration of Ms. Ulrich’s life will be held on Saturday, September 16, from 5:30 p.m. to sunset at Long Beach in Sag Harbor.

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The one tattoo is suggestive -- police would do well to look to the seasonal community of Irish restaurant workers who come to the East End (mostly Montauk) each Summer.




By Frank Wheeler (1729), Northampton on Sep 8, 17 11:30 AM
I don't understand - how does a single tattoo suggest an Irish seasonal resort worker? I know lots of girls from numerous backgrounds that have a single tattoo.
By Funbeer (204), Southampton on Sep 9, 17 4:30 PM
Re-read the initial story and you'll see that your understanding of the information is inaccurate.

And while I have no special knowledge of this case, my initial conclusion was a simple process of ratiocination.

But as I prefaced my comment, that "one tattoo is suggestive," so it's conclusory, not conclusive.



By Frank Wheeler (1729), Northampton on Sep 9, 17 11:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your ignorance knows no bounds, Frank!
By johnj (687), Westhampton on Sep 10, 17 9:35 AM
Unfortunately, your comprehensive skills do.

Thanks for adding nothing to the colloquy.



By Frank Wheeler (1729), Northampton on Sep 10, 17 10:52 AM
2 members liked this comment
That was pretty bad
By Hambone (482), New York on Sep 17, 17 8:41 PM
Frank, you added nothing but speculation which is even worse. Using a word like colloquy to describe 27east.com comment chat is laughable. Your entire post and these comments should be deleted.
By Genuin (26), Hampton Bays on Sep 18, 17 8:41 AM
He's clown shoes personified.
By johnj (687), Westhampton on Sep 18, 17 10:40 AM
Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Hey!, I took a shot based on something I saw in the original report and I mis-fired, badly!

And I've been rightly called on it. Wanna pile on, or move on? Your choices.



By Frank Wheeler (1729), Northampton on Sep 21, 17 5:36 PM
Just awful, this young woman seemed to have much going for her. Rest in peace.
By NateNewtown (23), east on Sep 8, 17 4:25 PM
Very sad. Hopefully we will be able to learn more about her and how this tragedy came to be. Condolences to her friends and family. Rest in peace Hallie.
By Toma Noku (579), Southampton on Sep 8, 17 5:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Alleged boyfriend allegedly died the next day from an alleged overdose.
By SlimeAlive (625), Southampton on Sep 11, 17 1:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Very sad. 142 people die every day in the US alone from drug overdoses. But let's keep pretending it's not a problem.
By johnj (687), Westhampton on Sep 11, 17 1:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Who is pretending it's not a problem?
By SlimeAlive (625), Southampton on Sep 11, 17 3:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Pretty good inside information SA. Are you a cop?
By Toma Noku (579), Southampton on Sep 12, 17 1:14 AM
Yes.
By SlimeAlive (625), Southampton on Sep 12, 17 6:22 AM
Who is pretending you ask....The schools. The parents. Sag harbor tried getting drug sniffing dogs in the building a few years back, and all hell broke loose because a handful of prissy parents and administrators with their heads in the sand refused to believe that this shit doesn't exist in our cozy comfy hamlet of Mayberry. "Not my kids" the parents say. It's everywhere out here, and teenagers whether they like it or not are going to run across this garbage and the dregs of the earth making money ...more
By Harbor Master (80), Sag Harbor on Sep 11, 17 9:24 PM
3 members liked this comment
Yeah, drug sniffing dogs would have fixed everything. It comes down to parenting, or lack thereof.
By dnice (1985), Hampton Bays on Sep 11, 17 9:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Never blame a parent !! Get a clue. Educate yourself an become part of the solution.

My condolences to the families and friends.
By toes in the water (537), southampton on Sep 12, 17 6:56 AM
BUILD THE WALL.
By pw herman (704), southampton on Sep 12, 17 7:57 AM
I think you meant "refused to believe that this shit exists" (as opposed to "refused to believe" it "doesn't exist"
By Rich Morey (292), East Hampton on Sep 12, 17 2:43 PM
Sorry harbor master, first of all... its not just is mayberry sag harbor (a place I know you never left)! it is in the entire country
When my kids went to school in the harbor the principal was against having kids breath tested for alcohol at the prom.. he refused because than he would have had to been tested. Makes you go HMMMM..
By J. Totta (89), Sag Harbor on Sep 12, 17 3:01 PM
This comment makes me sad. There are so many reasons people turn to drugs other than poor parenting or lack there of. While I agree there are many instances where this is the case, it is no where near the only reason.
By PeteyBoy (8), Southampton on Sep 13, 17 2:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Stand corrected. The point being is, it's a plague, and unfortunately many people do not want to acknowledge that we have problems out here.
By Harbor Master (80), Sag Harbor on Sep 13, 17 8:50 PM
My point exactly. When the school has a former NYC detective on staff, who specialized in the narcotics division, saying that there is a problem, and they can't check lockers because of policy.... who is really benefiting from their so called rights to privacy? The kids who bring this poison into the building. Every East End school faces this problem, and you're right, Mayberry it aint.
By Harbor Master (80), Sag Harbor on Sep 13, 17 9:01 PM
Build better classrooms.
By Mr. Z (9458), North Sea on Sep 13, 17 9:55 PM
Toes, never blame a parent? That attitude is kind of the problem. Lack of accountability.
By dnice (1985), Hampton Bays on Sep 21, 17 4:41 PM
As a handler of a Drug Sniffing K-9 I can tell you that I've pulled Marijuana and Heroin from student lockers in public High Schools in Suffolk County. It will not stop the problem by any means but it will help identify who the players are. It DOES come down to parenting!
By DisgustedHamptons (16), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 17 6:01 PM
Parenting?? I have seen some of the best parents watch their kids struggle with, and sometimes lose their battle, with addiction. As someone with long term recovery, I can assure you it wasn't my parents fault.
By EQmom (10), East Quogue on Sep 11, 17 10:43 PM
I'd rather see my tax money spent on drug enforcement than some BS anti-terror squad. Who is the supervisor again?
By Toma Noku (579), Southampton on Sep 12, 17 1:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
So both of them OD within a 24 hour period and it's a "Non Criminal" matter?

They need to find out who the dealer was and arrest him for selling fentanyl laced junk. But our cops are running around with AR-15s at a horse show...
By Draggerman (667), Southampton on Sep 12, 17 7:20 AM
Seriously! Walking around with their hand on the trigger ready to shoot. Insanity if you ask me.
By PeteyBoy (8), Southampton on Sep 13, 17 2:49 PM
Southampton Patch has written a beautiful article and tribute to Hallie. It answers some of the questions asked here. RIP, Hallie. My thoughts are with all that love you.
By Mrs.Sea (250), Sag Harbor on Sep 12, 17 7:34 AM
Frank W you were so off the mark,may I suggest you take a little time off.
By watchdog1 (401), Southampton on Sep 12, 17 4:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
I'd say it was the parents and teachers who were a little off the mark in influencing these young people.
By pw herman (704), southampton on Sep 16, 17 9:36 AM
This whole situation is a total disaster.
By Lets go mets (320), Southampton on Sep 12, 17 6:59 PM
I don't understand "making an appointment" to talk to the person who made the 911 call "the next day."
By Lesliej3 (2), Southampton on Sep 14, 17 8:19 AM
Just another adult to who missed a chance to make a difference.
By even flow (495), East Hampton on Sep 16, 17 7:25 AM
Just say NO and don't ever trust a "friend" that says you should try something!!
By 11953guest (31), southampton on Sep 14, 17 11:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
The tribute videos are just absolutely beautiful!!
By toes in the water (537), southampton on Sep 15, 17 7:42 AM
2 members liked this comment
I wouldn't let a tribute of my son be released where he was doing nothing more than dope and skateboarding.
By even flow (495), East Hampton on Sep 16, 17 6:28 AM
2 members liked this comment
Your an ass. I didn't see him taking drugs in the video. What I did see was someone full of "soul" and life. Someone who was so happy and free spirited that he danced on his skated board! It was so mesmerizing to watch.This young man was clearly full of joy. I gather that he prob never passed judgment on anyone. There is NO room or need for negative/snide comments when peoples lives have been turned upside down.
By toes in the water (537), southampton on Sep 16, 17 8:27 AM
We can't just end these type of stories over and over again with the death of young people and a memorial. I know I have been effected by this situation in my family and I suspect so have many others. We need to take steps when we can as early as we can. We all need to be accountable for each other. Our government needs to take the drugs off the streets. So sad for the family. I hope that can find peace.
By HB Proud (747), Hampton Bays on Sep 16, 17 8:50 AM
That soul was of the variety that could take someone's dead daughter, wrap her in a blanket and leave her on the side of the road.
By SlimeAlive (625), Southampton on Sep 16, 17 10:43 AM
2 members liked this comment
The drug situation is an epidemic. Some officials want to put their heads in the sand - want to convince us there is no drugs, no gangs - leaving the most vulnerable exposed. It seems to me there is a point of no return with drug addiction at early ages. Remember the "egg" commercials.
By HB Proud (747), Hampton Bays on Sep 16, 17 11:34 AM
A 28 year-old "so happy and free spirited that he danced on his skate board"? No, that is Peter Pan behavior, what pre-teens do. "Clearly full of joy"? No, of fentanyl. "Mesmerizing to watch"? No, totally, sadly disconcerting and indicative of something widespread in our land--aimless, infantilized, jobless, undereducated, young white males living in altered consciousness about which books are now being written. Incomprehensibly sad for families involved, but a definite societal problem. ...more
By June Bug (1411), SOUTHAMPTON on Sep 16, 17 11:54 AM
Our marvelous Country was founded by " young white males " .
Thank Christ they preferred to slow dance.
By pw herman (704), southampton on Sep 18, 17 9:48 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By flattonic, manorville on Sep 19, 17 2:49 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By johnj (687), Westhampton on Sep 20, 17 1:32 PM
HBP, the US gov't is one of the biggest drug dealers in history.
By dnice (1985), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 17 5:19 PM
Very nice coverage on Southampton Patch of memorial for Hallie on Long Beach in Sag Harbor. RIP.
By Toma Noku (579), Southampton on Sep 17, 17 10:27 AM
The boyfriend sounds like a real gem. They are making him sound like this is a stand up guy I say BS. Why would he wrap this girl in a blanket and leave her on the side of the road like an animal? The whole thing is real sketchy
By chief1 (2325), southampton on Sep 18, 17 11:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
Stop buying these kids cellphones. Kids use them to get into trouble, send inappropriate photos of themselves that end up on the internet and to buy drugs. Better to give them more responsibility at home (ongoing chores) to make them grow up and gain a sense of accomplishment.
By pigroast (10), East Quogue on Sep 19, 17 4:13 PM
Last week AG schnierdman put out a warning that they had found oxy pills being sold but they were Fentanyl.
50-100 times more powerful than morphine.
My heart goes out to these parents and their family and friends.
By LI native (126), LI on Sep 19, 17 9:00 PM
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