Holland Tunnel Trio Update: Mother Of To-be Rescued Teen, Sierra Schmitt, Speaks Out

Holland Tunnel Trio Update: Mother Of To-be Rescued Teen, Sierra Schmitt, Speaks Out
Heroin Bottles Karen Neoh / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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The mother of a woman, whose death due to overdose prompted a rescue attempt by three individuals that subsequently went on to make national headlines, referred to them as “heroes.”


Sierra Schmitt died in Brooklyn on June 20, her mother Mandy Powell confirmed.

A rescue attempt to save the 17-year-old girl who found Schmitt dead, sending messages to people close to her, was undertaken by John Cramsey, Dean Smith, and Kimberly Arendt. Arendt was among those who received the girl’s distressed message, as reported by the Morning Call.

The trio was arrested at the Holland Tunnel on June 21, as previously reported by Morning News USA. They were carrying an arsenal of weapons in their truck, including a shotgun, five handguns and a semi-automatic, military-style rifle. Cramsey’s daughter had passed away due to heroin overdose in February this year.

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According to a narrative of the incident, someone had called 911 and “stated she discovered [Schmitt] unconscious and unresponsive lying face down on mattress in her bedroom.” Schmitt was declared dead by the press office for the New York City Police Department on June 20 at a private resident in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn.

“Kudos to them that they tried to save these girls,” Powell said. “There should be more people like that out there. They are heroes, not convicts. If I ever get to see them or meet them, I’d thank them.” Powell believes Schmitt was given an overdose of heroin.

“[Schmitt] always lived life on the edge. I warned her. I told her everybody is not her friend,” Powell said, as reported by Daily Mail.

Julie Bolcer, spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office, said the cause and manner of the death is being investigated.

Tatyana Moore, a close friend of Schmitt’s, expressed sorrow over her friend’s death. “Sierra was much more than what people saw or what they thought of her. She was really a good person, with a good heart. She could light up a whole room with her smile and laugh,” Moore said.

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