Cary woman sentenced to prison in 2018 overdose death

Reanna Salas, 20, of the 600 block of Knollwood Drive, Cary
Reanna Salas, 20, of the 600 block of Knollwood Drive, Cary

A judge Friday said a Cary woman “caused immeasurable grief” when she delivered the Xanax that later caused a 19-year-old woman to fatally overdose.

Reanna Salas, 20, pleaded guilty to delivering a controlled substance in connection with the May 14, 2018, death of Rachel Ramirez of McHenry.

In accordance with Salas’ plea deal with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, she was sentenced to four years in prison. A more serious charge of drug-induced homicide was dismissed.

Before accepting her sentence Friday, Salas offered an apology to Ramirez’s mother, Sara Peters.

“Miss Peters, I’m sorry for the death of your daughter Rachel and the suffering our families have endured,” Salas said.

Reanna’s mother, Rosie Salas, said family members previously tried to get Salas help for her drug use and mental health. The woman’s sister, Janessa Salas, said Reanna Salas didn’t mean to harm anyone and was at risk of overdosing herself.

“My sister could have very well been Rachel,” Janessa Salas said.

Reanna Salas and Ramirez’s boyfriend, Jacob Reis, were charged in July 2018 with drug-induced homicide and delivery of a controlled substance after police said the two played a role in delivering Ramirez the Xanax that killed her.

A police search of Reis’ phone revealed a Facebook Messenger conversation in which he and Salas arranged the drug deal, prosecutors wrote in a July 31 motion.

Reis accepted a plea deal in March and was sentenced to four years in prison.

For all her life, Ramirez had never been more than a phone call or text message away from her mother, Peters said.

It was strange, then, when on Mother’s Day 2018, Ramirez didn’t call.

“Rachel was kind, loving, happy, sincere, loyal, genuine, supportive, humble, affectionate, hardworking, sentimental and, most of all, a caring and protective daughter,” Peters said.

The day after Mother’s Day, Cary police responded to the 300 block of Alma Terrace, where they found Ramirez unresponsive on a bedroom floor.

A blood test revealed she had fentanyl, morphine and THC in her system, according to police reports. Another person at the house that day also overdosed but survived, police reports show.

Adamant that her daughter didn’t abuse drugs or struggle with addiction, Peters said her questions surrounding Ramirez’s death likely will go unanswered.

For comfort, she returns to the journals of art and poetry Ramirez kept.

“I like to believe that it isn’t just darkness – there is light at the end of life,” Peters said, reciting one of Ramirez’s poems. “We are reborn into a new realm that is unknown. It isn’t a void, it is full of pure bliss where your soul can rest easy.”

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