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Friends remember woman who was among 5 who overdosed on fentanyl at Hackensack mall
By Matt Trapani,
Friends and family are remembering a woman who was among a group of five women who overdosed on fentanyl in the parking lot of The Shops at Riverside mall in Hackensack on March 15.
One of those women – identified by friends as Michelle Kerry Edoo – died on Saturday.
Edoo worked at the Cheesecake Factory at the mall for the last four years. Brittany Onorato, a friend of Edoo, says that Edoo was the one who trained her. It was about a year ago that they became close friends.
Friends say that Edoo was always “the life of the party,” who was an amazing person with a good heart and was always willing to help a friend.
“She was always there with a happy smiley face to cheer everyone up. I look back at my memories and I can’t not smile,” Onorato says.
The 29-year-old was one of five women who overdosed in the parking lot of the mall. Emergency responders administered Narcan at the scene. The other four women survived.
“This is such a tragedy. She was healthy. She was happy. Her last days at work and this is the last thing anybody would’ve thought,” Onorato says.
The Cheesecake Factory issued a statement after Edoo’s death. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the staff member who passed away. We have made grief counseling available at the restaurant.”
An emotional memorial took place Wednesday at the mall to remember Edoo.
“Everyone turned out, the chefs were there, front of the house, back of the house, friends that were not from Cheesecake. She was 100% looking down at us smiling that everyone was there,” Onorato says.
Onorato says that Edoo had a boyfriend and was working toward having a better relationship with her mother and sister. She was also devoted to her 9-year-old daughter.
“She was a single mom doing everything on her own. She was so strong. It gives me chills to think about it because she did everything herself,” Onorato says.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the situation. They are expected to hold a news conference on Friday to address the recent surge of fentanyl-related overdoses in the county.
Sources tell News 12 New Jersey that two people were taken into custody in connection with Edoo’s overdose cases.
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