The daughter of a Wisconsin state representative is facing drug and homicide charges in Brown County.
Cassandra Nygren, daughter of Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), was arrested early Wednesday morning and faces charges in Brown County court, including two counts of reckless homicide/deliver drugs, manufacturing/delivering heroin, neglecting a child and maintaining a drug trafficking place.
Cassandra has had a public battle with addiction, prompting her father, Rep. Nygren, to spearhead many laws fighting opioid abuse in Wisconsin.
Gov. Scott Walker signed 11 bills into law this July, many inspired by Cassandra.
The Brown County Sheriff's Office will hold a press conference on Thursday to provide more information on her arrest, along with the arrest of another person related to the crime.
Rep. Nygren released a statement this afternoon, saying:
First and most importantly, I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences for the loss of life. There are no words that we as a family can offer to give any real comfort for the tragic loss.
To the family and friends of the victims of this tragedy, please know that you are in our prayers and that our hearts are heavy.
Cassie has publicly struggled with addiction and recovery for several years. This is a strong reminder of how fragile the road to recovery is. We will continue to support and pray for her recovery.
This is just another example, in a seemingly endless line, of the disastrous and destructive consequences addiction continues to have on families and communities nationwide. These stories are the motivating factor behind all our work in the legislature to fight this epidemic.
In this time of extreme sadness and sorrow, I request that privacy and respect be extended to those grieving from their loss.
The stigma of addiction can often make it difficult for those battling it to get help.
Connecting those struggling with addiction with resources can be crucial, according to Jesse Heffernan, who works for Faces and Voices of Recovery.
"These are results of the brain being hijacked," Heffernan said. "The pleasure centers and the survival centers and everything is just basically been hijacked to say, 'You need substances in order to survive.' And that's what compels people and allows them to do the things that they do."
If you or someone you know is looking for help, here are some organizations that can help start the road to recovery: