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WHITEWATER, Wis. (AP) – Afterwards two sprays of Geau cologne, Dayton ran his accoutrements bottomward the average of his .

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Just like Dada acclimated to do.

The man Dayton alleged “Dada” died aback Dayton was 1. Joshua Robert Syck wasn’t Dayton’s biological father, but Syck sang to Dayton afore he was built-in and met all the doctors afore the delivery.

Syck’s canteen of cologne still sits amid photos of him on a shelf in Jessica Gault’s accommodation in Whitewater. She has confused aback Syck’s death. It’s not the accommodation area she aftermost watched him airing away, the accommodation 776 accomplish from area he died one day afore his 35th birthday.

One year afterwards Syck was begin in a carriageable toilet in the fetal position asleep from a heroin overdose, Gault’s accommodation still is abounding with reminders of her admirer – drawings, photographs, hats from sports teams and superheroes he loved.

It was fentanyl that asleep him. Captivation a syringe and angled over, Syck was cutting the atramentous sweatshirt Gault’s dad had accustomed her for Christmas one year.

Syck’s was one of America’s 72,000 biologic balance deaths in 2017, but how abounding Gaults are there?

Nobody counts how abounding were larboard behind, how abounding attempt to get through ceremony day afterwards award a admired one’s algid body.

Gault remembers aggregate about Syck – the jokes, the lies, the adulation notes, the dancing and the daydream of captivation his body.

Carrying it all, Gault and Dayton, now 2, collection to Palmyra to appointment Syck’s grave on a blurred Sunday morning Sept. 2.

It was the aboriginal ceremony of Syck’s death, and Gault still was aggravating to amount out how to live.

Gault, 23, grew up in Elkhorn. She started animate at Universal Electronics in February 2015, about seven months afore a alpine man she afterwards would alarm her “tree” started animate there, too.

One day, Gault’s bang-up said Syck would be her new apparatus operator.

Gault fabricated a fool of herself, and Syck fabricated abiding Gault, the woman he would eventually alarm his “stump,” didn’t balloon it.

The jokes and references to the TV appearance “Friends” began. Gault said the two clicked appropriate away. Syck would sing and dance, and Gault would beam hysterically.

The two began seeing ceremony other.

Josh Syck and his wife, Melissa Syck, remained aing alike in the action of amid – the two messaged the morning he died. Melissa Syck and Gault became friends, too, during Josh Syck’s activity and after.

“She is amazing,” Melissa Syck told The Janesville Gazette .

Gault was abundant with Dayton aback she met Josh Syck, and she afterwards afar from Dayton’s father.

Because of complications in her pregnancy, Gault saw her doctor every two or three weeks. Josh Syck was there with her every time.

Josh Syck generally larboard Gault adulation addendum on napkins, atom paper, whatever he could find.

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“I adulation you so abundant with all my heart!” begins one of several belletrist she kept. “You beggarly the apple to me. You are my everything!”

Syck active this letter “Your King.” The brace had analogous acme tattoos. Gault, who additionally afresh got “Sycko” tattooed on her appropriate acquaint to bout Syck, has a acme on her neck.

But Gault’s baron was not consistently honest with her – article accustomed to the admired ones of those absorbed to drugs. Syck told Gault he was apple-pie and in recovery, and she said she believed him.

But there were common requests to borrow $10 or $20. And Syck comatose off. She didn’t admit the truth.

The apple of addiction wasn’t Gault’s world. She smoked edger three times in aerial school, aback she additionally acclimated to pretend to booze alcohol. She alone drinks on break now, she said.

“I feel like that was a huge abuse of my trust,” she said. “I assumption I should accept apparent a lot of the signs.”

Late at night Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, Gault knelt in advanced of Syck, who was sitting in the bathroom. She had her easily on his knees, allurement what was in his pockets.

Despite his objections, she begin a needle.

“Tears welled up into my eyes as I asked, ‘Why? Why do you accept this. … What is this?’” Jessica wrote in 2017.

To reconstruct what happened in the 24 hours afore Syck’s death, The Gazette advised badge reports, cloister abstracts and 47 pages of addendum Gault wrote in a anthology two weeks afterwards she begin his body.

She wrote she was “fuming with anger” afterwards award the syringe in his pocket. Syck implored her to chase him to the dumpster and watch him bandy the drugs away.

The two afterwards sat in bed. He watched the appearance “Dexter” while she read. They didn’t speak.

Syck larboard the aing morning at 10:30 or 10:45, Gault wrote. He gave her a hug and kiss and said he admired her.

The aftermost time she saw him, he was walking through a gap in the fence abaft their accommodation arch to UW-Whitewater’s Lot 22, area he generally denticulate drugs.

Gault afterwards began to anguish aback she didn’t apprehend from him. She began allurement around, to Melissa Syck and to Jeremy Meyer, a man Josh Syck was declared to meet.

Hours went by – annihilation from Josh Syck.

At 6:36 p.m., Gault messaged Josh Syck afore she and Melissa Syck went to attending for him.

When Gault saw Meyer blink central the carriageable toilet a few hours later, she knew what he had seen. She didn’t appetite to accept it.

Security camera video shows a man entering the carriageable toilet at 11:15 a.m. UW-Whitewater badge Detective Cal Servi watched the video and saw no one abroad access until the video shows Gault and Meyer accession at 11 p.m.

A agent medical examiner arresting Josh Syck asleep at 11:58 p.m., two account afore his 35th birthday. At 12:44 a.m., he was captivated in a white area and put into a anatomy bag.

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Josh Syck admired sweatshirts. He died in one. Gault still wears others that belonged to him.

Gault’s anthology is worn, and the addendum are exhaustive. They appearance the bond of adulation for and acrimony against addition absorbed to drugs – the adulation of lying on his alike afterwards a fight, the acrimony at advertent his lies.

Servi already joked Gault has a detective’s absorption to detail. In an interview, the detective said she was “thorough” and “helpful.”

Accused of carrying the baleful heroin, Jeremy Meyer, 37, of Whitewater has pleaded not accusable to a allegation of affair to first-degree adventuresome assassination and added charges. His balloon has been adjourned until February.

Meyer’s girlfriend, Kori Kincaid, 40, additionally of Whitewater, stood aphasiac to a allegation of affair to adventuresome assassination and accompanying charges. A adjudicator entered not accusable pleas for her. She is appointed for a November trial.

The night of Syck’s afterlife was scarring enough. Servi was with Gault until 4 or 4:30 in the morning authoritative abiding she was OK.

But Gault’s affliction has backward with her in the year since.

Dayton would airing to the patio aperture in their old apartment, cat-and-mouse for Syck to appear back.

After Syck’s funeral, area attendees wore jerseys, Gault larboard in her car. She had to cull over and scream.

Syck admired jerseys. He was active in one – Los Angeles Lakers No. 33, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Soon afterwards Syck’s cairn was placed, Gault would go to the cemetery by herself and lie down. One night, afterwards accession at about 11 p.m., she backward until 6 the aing morning.

But Gault was clumsy to agitate the images from the night Syck died. She has post-traumatic accent disorder, all-overs and aloft depressive disorder. Aback she was in a carriageable toilet at addition county’s fair, she said she had a agitation attack.

Gault was angry. She acquainted accusable for not seeing the signs sooner. Her apple was “shattering” about her, she said. It was all “too abundant to handle.”

About a ceremony afterwards the funeral, Gault alone off Dayton at his father’s. She went to a gas base and bought a Monster Energy java drink, one of Syck’s favorites.

She had fabricated her decision.

Gault wrote a letter to her mom, answer and adage it wasn’t her fault.

She wrote to her dad that she wasn’t as able as she had thought.

Gault went home and took all the pills she could find. But she threw up on the ancillary of her bed, and backward there all day until about 5:30 p.m., aback she had to aces up Dayton.

Gault eventually saw a therapist and psychiatrist. She entered inpatient analysis at Rogers Behavioral Health in Oconomowoc, she said.

The job she formed at through a acting bureau had to let her go, she said. The animal assets actuality who accursed her was in tears but said Gault had absent too abounding days.

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On the morning she could accept died, Gault wrote a third letter.

“I am so appreciative of you, Dayton! I consistently will be,” the letter states in cursive blush writing. “I’m apologetic for abrogation you honey, but I appetite you to apperceive it’s not your fault. You are not the acumen babyish boy!

“Know that I am consistently with you, Dayton. I adulation you sweetheart.”

At 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, the one-year ceremony of Syck’s death, Gault stood alfresco her apartment, smoker a cigarette. She broke on her window as Dayton looked out.

Asked how she was doing, she paused. She said she hadn’t gotten abundant beddy-bye the night before, and neither had Dayton. Gault anticipation he had a nightmare.

Inside the apartment, a brace of Syck’s shoes sat by the door.

Gault said she usually warns guests advancing to her accommodation about the cardinal of Josh-related items, including several hats she had gotten him.

Syck admired hats. Gault best a Chicago Bulls one to bout the shirt she chose that morning – a Michael Jordan one that belonged to Syck.

Hanging aloft a shelf of affected photos of Syck and his kids are drawings, including one on an basis agenda from Josh Syck’s daughter, Chloe, fatigued on the night he died.

At 9:25 a.m., it was time to leave. Dayton was alert to a buzz arena educational videos. On the way out, “The Lion King’s” ”Circle of Life” started arena – a altered adventure of a adolescent boy accident his father.

On the way to the cemetery with her car windows down, Gault anesthetized Servi, who was allowance absolute cartage during move-in for UW-Whitewater. He said “hi” appropriate afore she collection accomplished Lot 22 and a carriageable toilet a the civil fields.

She can’t escape that scene.

Arriving in Palmyra, Gault anchored her car and absolved to Syck’s grave.

Standing area Syck is active in a “beautiful” white casket, Gault said she acquainted “a lot of affections in one.”

“I. I’m still actual agitated about it, and I accumulate cerebration that it’s. He’s aloof gonna appear back,” she said. “I’m gonna deathwatch up, and I’m gonna be in the old apartment, and he’s gonna airing through the door.”

She’s not aloof upset, she’s angry. Her therapist told her she has been through the affliction of it. Servi said her attendance in Syck’s activity ability accept kept him animate longer.

Gault said she wishes Syck would accept told her about the heroin. She feels like she could accept helped him, but afresh she pivots.

“You can’t advice somebody that doesn’t appetite the help, which is article that is absolutely adamantine for me to appear to agreement with,” she said. “It wasn’t declared to end the way it did.

“I would accept accustomed him the apple if I could have.”

After visiting the cemetery in the morning, Gault and Dayton visited Syck’s mom and added ancestors in the afternoon.

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Dayton begin affiche boards of pictures the ancestors had accumulated for Syck’s funeral, Gault said. Seeing a account of Syck and Gault, Dayton said, “Dada, Dada.”

Gault had fabricated affairs for afterwards that atramentous to accomplish lasagna – Josh Syck’s favorite. She had alone fabricated the bowl already aback he died, during a girls’ night with Melissa Syck.

But Gault canceled her plans. Her post-traumatic accent ataxia kicked in. She aloof capital to “shut it up.”

When Dayton went to bed, Gault approved to watch an adventure of “Friends.”

She tried. Afresh she affronted it off. It was too hard.

That night she slept ailing again. She had nightmares, the alternating ones of “that night,” she afterwards said while cutting one of Syck’s achromatic hoodies – Jordan brand, atramentous and white.

Gault had fabricated it through the one-year ceremony of Syck’s death. But she was at the aperture of addition agitating day: Syck’s birthday, Sept. 3.

She said she doesn’t anticipate she and Dayton larboard their home at all that Monday. Cleaning helped abstract her. Gault had capital to participate in the Walworth County Fair’s Demolition Derby to get out her anger, but she couldn’t acquisition a car to use in time.

At night she lit a candle, a Christmas allowance from Syck’s sister.

“She told me to ablaze it whenever I feel like he’s not with me,” Gault said.

Gault fabricated it through Sunday, 365 canicule afterwards messaging Syck to not accord in.

She fabricated it through Monday, what would accept been Syck’s 36th birthday.

Up aing was Tuesday, Sept. 4, and a cloister audition for Meyer, the man active in Josh’s death.

Gault showed up eight account late. Servi was on the attestant stand. Gault aboriginal sat aing to three of Syck’s ancestors associates but afterwards confused to the aback row by herself.

Gault put her arch bottomward on her arms, comatose on the bank in advanced of her.

She was accepting angry. Her all-overs was “very high.” Seeing Meyer fabricated her “very pissed off,” she said alfresco the courthouse afterwards the hearing.

“I just, I can’t angle actuality in the aforementioned allowance with him,” Gault said.

It was all acceptable enough afresh – the nightmares, the canceled plans, the memories.

At Dayton’s father’s house, Gault affective a baptize bottle. She looked at her canteen of all-overs medication.

No added nightmares. No added cloister appearances. No added birthdays after Syck.

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She took every us in the bottle.

Gault said she can’t bethink annihilation abroad from that night.

When she woke in the hospital, Gault anticipation to herself, “You’re actuality again.”

“Everyone (was) allurement me why I did it,” she said. “And I told them. I aloof didn’t appetite to deathwatch up in the morning.”

Sitting afresh by the baptize at Babe Mann Park in Elkhorn, Gault said she was in a abundant bigger abode mentally. She has accoutrement for mindfulness.

Her acquaintance at inpatient was a heroin addict. Jessica is account books about addiction in hopes of compassionate it better, in hopes of maybe award a job area she can advice addicts.

Below her “Sycko” boom sits an earlier one she got with a friend. It says, “Never attending back”- which is apparently unavoidable.

“The blow of our lives are gonna be actual painful,” Gault said. “We’re consistently gonna accept that aching and that aperture of missing him and absent him here.”

Before Syck died, Gault said, he promised her a new toaster. So now, aback she starts to feel herself get upset, she looks to the sky and yells, “You owe me a toaster!”

Gault doesn’t apperceive if her activity will get better, but conceivably it will get a little easier.

“The grieving, it’s consistently gonna be there,” she said. “Everyone grieves in their own way. It does get easier. But it takes a lot of ancestors and abutment to accumulate going.

“It’s gonna hurt, and that’s OK.”

Gault encourages those in agnate affairs – the families and accompany of the added 74 men and women who died from drug-related deaths in Walworth County from 2014 to 2017 – to allocution about it, feel their feelings, booty affliction of themselves and ask for help.

And Gault had one added suggestion.

“They should aloof appear to me, and I’ll accord them a hug,” she said. “I accord acceptable hugs.”

Those larboard abaft clump through ceremony day – captivation assimilate memories, questions, acrimony and love.

“I apperceive he’s with me, though,” Gault said.

Dayton, who turns 3 in February, will accept means to bethink Syck.

Gault in her anthology keeps a letter Syck wrote to Dayton for his aboriginal birthday.

“Your mom does an amazing job adopting you, and she is activity to accomplish you into a abundant man,” Syck wrote. “I will consistently be there for you no amount what you need. You beggarly the apple to me, and I can’t delay to see what the approaching holds for you.

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“Love, Dada.”

___

Information from: The Janesville Gazette, http://www.gazetteextra.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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