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Woman traumatized by Columbine massacre turns to drugs, vanishes
Investigation » She was in school when classmates gunned down fellow students.


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"All three of these horrible (tragedies) devastated her," Linda Malonson wrote.

The first hint of trouble for Brandi Jo came less than a month before the third anniversary of Columbine in 2002 when she was arrested for theft. She was charged with a misdemeanor.

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Brandi Jo graduated from Columbine High School two months later.

She became a certified nurse’s assistant and took care of elderly people.

"The last lady she took care of had multiple sclerosis and Brandi moved in with her to take care of her," Linda Malonson wrote.

Brandi Jo had two jobs and began taking nursing classes at Parks College.

"She was a very responsible girl, purchased her own car on her own and always paid her bills on time," Linda Malonson wrote.

But the family would learn that Brandi Jo had also started using illegal drugs. A friend introduced her to methamphetamine.

"Things started to change; we found out that a girl Brandi met at Parks introduced her to meth," Linda Malonson wrote.

The friend told Brandi Jo that methamphetamine would help her lose weight and make her feel better. Brandi Jo was still deeply affected by her friends who committed suicide or were murdered.


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"I think she was overwhelmed with all that stuff," Richard Malonson said. "All that hurt had a big impact on her."

Brandi Jo started acting erratically. She would disappear for months at a time. There wasn’t much her family could do about it because she was an adult.

When Brandi Jo finally did admit to her parents that she was using drugs, they arranged a therapeutic intervention and enrolled her in counseling.

"Never in a million years would you think that your daughter would get mixed up in drugs," Richard Malonson said.

But once again, because Brandi Jo was an adult, there was little her parents could do when she decided to leave home or started using drugs again.

Brandi Jo’s drug problem led to financial troubles. In 2005, she declared personal bankruptcy.

She was convicted of drug possession and identity theft charges and sentenced to probation on Dec. 22, 2006.

"She told us she really wanted to get off of the drugs and take care of herself. She was just so sad, it hurt so bad to see her like this," her mother wrote.

Four days later, on Dec. 26, Brandi Jo told her father that she was going out.

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