A boyish light had just seeped back into Laird Ramirez’ eyes.
The end of wrestling season brought more free time. With it, he mixed music, cracked jokes and relaxed. He loved life, and he loved his family. He was 17 and acting like it.
His smile was big, and his heart was beating.
The Hough High School rising junior wore well the unique independence that comes with being a teenager, his mom said.
But on July 1, he needed his parents one last time.
Authorities called Gwyneth Brown and Chris Ramirez to the two-story home in the Stratford Forest neighborhood.
They needed to identify his body — robbed of light and color — at a home in Cornelius, paramedics told them.
The night before he’d come and gone from the home, a friend’s house, a few times. At around 3 a.m., he’d returned for good and was chatting with friends when he abruptly beelined for a bed. He said didn’t feel good, his friends told his parents.
Twelve hours later, friends found him dead.
A fatal dose of fentanyl — from a pill he thought was a Percocet — killed him, his mom says.
Nine days later, police arrested and charged 21-year-old Ehsanullah “Sean” Ayaar with death by distribution, according to the Cornelius Police Department. He’s accused of supplying the drug that killed a juvenile, police said previously. A police statement indicates the death was in the Stratford Forest neighborhood.