GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty in Gaston County to giving his 16-year-old girlfriend a pain pill laced with fentanyl.
Investigators said Abigail Saunderson died in September 2022 from fentanyl poisoning. Now, her family wants others to hear her story and stay away from dangerous drugs.
Saunderson’s mother, Tracy Saunderson-Ross, said Nicholas Gage’s guilty plea Monday was a big win for saving lives. She said the case was critical because more young people like her daughter are losing their lives to fentanyl, and it can be avoided.
Saunderson-Ross showed Channel 9′s Ken Lemon a lock of her daughter’s hair she brought with her to court.
“This is the last thing I will ever touch of my baby girl,” she said.
She said her daughter asked Gage for a prescription pain pill last September. She said Saunderson didn’t know the pill she was taking was laced with fentanyl, and it killed her.