Fighting addiction: Daughter speaks about mother’s mysterious death

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COLORADO SPRINGS — A daughter looking for her mother finally finds her after five months of searching.

Matthew Batterton, 38, of Pueblo and Risa Johnson, 51, of Colorado Springs had been missing since early October. According to Utah Highway Patrol, the car they had rented was found on February 18 in a ravine at the Colorado – Utah border along I-70 with their bodies inside. A road worker discovered the crash when he was working to replace a road sign.

Logan Dudley had hired a private investigator to help her find her mother, Risa Johnson. Johnson’s landlord reported her missing in November. Police notified the media about the two missing adults in December.

Police said there was no foul play involved in the crash despite possible drug trafficking and no drugs were found in the car. The two were not wearing their seatbelts. The cause of the crash is still unknown but Johnson and Batterton died from the trauma of the crash.

Logan Dudley is a college student at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. For months, she’s had sleepless nights worrying about where her mother could be.

“Having a missing person is agonizing and you’ll never really empathize or know correctly until you are in that position,” Dudley said. “It changes every single part of you physically, it makes you not able to sleep, eat, think and it makes you feel like you are going crazy.”

Dudley knew something terrible had happened because she said her mother would have never left her two cats alone for months unfed.

“I’m trying to nurse them back to health which is also hard but it’s also a good piece of her that I’ve been able to hold on to,” Dudley explained.

The private investigator learned about Batterton and told Dudley that they could possibly be together. They were friends and shared similar pasts. Dudley said it was the Batterton family who informed her that her mother had passed away in a car crash and not the police.

“I’m so grateful that the Batterton’s informed me but before I found it on the media but I don’t know how this happened and it’s hurting me very badly because since the beginning I felt like no one was listening to me,” Dudley cried.

Although she still has many unanswered questions about the final moments of her mother’s life she wants to spread a message of hope for other kids that might have parents battling addiction.

“She was a wonderful parent and she gave me what she could and battling with addiction is very hard and now as an adult, I know that she didn’t choose it but as a kid you don’t feel like that way you take it more personally and I do want other kids out there to know that because your parents do love you if they have an addiction,” said Dudley.

Dudley plans on graduating college and becoming a Chiropractor one day, just like her mother would have wanted.

“She always loved how smart I was she always told me how smart I was and I don’t know if I would have the courage to be who I am today if she hadn’t of done all of those things and told me all of those things since I was a kid,” Dudley added.

Since Dudley is in college she has set up a Go-Fund-Me page to help pay for the expenses of bringing her mother home to Colorado and pay for a proper Jewish funeral. If you would like to donate you can do so here.

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