Father, friend remember Ironton teen - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Father, friend remember Ironton teen

Vanna Barton (Source: Cole Family Funeral Home) Vanna Barton (Source: Cole Family Funeral Home)
Shepard Mountain Inn (Source: Sherrie Lynn) Shepard Mountain Inn (Source: Sherrie Lynn)

A teenager's death is being investigated in Iron County, Missouri.

Police in Ironton say a heroin overdose is suspected in the death of 18-year-old Vanna Barton.

She was found unresponsive in one of the rooms at the Shepard Mountain Inn in Pilot Knob on July 20, according to Coroner Tony Cole.

Cole says an ambulance was called and Barton was taken to the Iron County Hospital. She was later flown to Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis.

Barton was on life support until she was removed from it two days later.  She died on July 22.

Cole performed an autopsy on Barton, but is still waiting on the toxicology results.

The coroner says there were several people inside the hotel room at the time Barton was found unresponsive.

He says one person has been in police custody.

Cole says he is confident that charges will be filed on one or more people that were inside the motel room when the incident took place.

The Iron County Coroners office and Ironton Police Department are investigating with assistance of the Iron County Sheriff's Department.

Vanna Barton's father Van Barton and step-mother Sylvia Walton say that they want to see justice for Vanna.

They say they do not know what really happened the night of July 20 at the Shepard Mountain Inn, but await any information police gather from this investigation of her death.

Family members say they were not aware Barton may have had a drug problem, but feel certain she would not have let it lead to her death.

Barton's friend, Meagan Buchanan, says she thinks something else must have factored in to her death.

"I don't think she could have done all of that to herself, no," Buchanan said. "I mean, she was so concerned about how she looked and her hygiene, showered daily."

Buchanan warns anyone who might have a drug problem seek help before it goes too far.

Walton and Barton say she is greatly missed and want people to know that she was a person full of potential. They say she was a brilliant student who was salutatorian at Belleview Grade School and got straight A's throughout high school. She even graduated high school early.

Her family says she was very special to them and a very caring person who was always smiling and always the life of the party.

"She always smiled," said her father, Van Barton. "She always had a smile on her face. She was always happy. She always looked nice. She was basically the lively part of my life."

Memorial services for Barton were held  on Thursday, July 26, at the Cole Family Funeral Home.

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