Fitzgerald murder sparks need for drug treatment facilities

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - Folks who helped raise Samantha Wheeles say she was a young, bright girl who just ended up going down the wrong path.

Samantha Wheeles was just 30 years old when she died after being stabbed 14 times at the Uptown Motel.

Law enforcers tell us she was in and out of jail multiple times since 2001, and they believe she was using and selling crack at the time of her death.

Pastor Isaac Miles didn't know Wheeles, but says there is an growing drug problem in Fitzgerald. Unfortunately there aren't any centers in Fitzgerald where people can get treated.

"most people who have any drug addiction or are in need of intervention they have to leave the county and really the area, I think the nearest one is found in Tifton."

He says one of the biggest problems is funding.

"unfortunately in the time that we are in now, funding is being cut for those who are less fortunate, those who are in need and geared toward social issues and we are more concerned about doing other things then really treating the least of these, those who are the most in need."

Folks close to Wheeles say she was a bright girl who just went down the wrong path. She was raised by her grandfather who later died of Cancer.

She didn't finish high school and was living at the Uptown Motel where she was murdered.

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