Alsip, IL – A 19-year-old woman pleaded guilty on Jan. 10 to the drug-induced homicide death of the daughter of a Chicago firefighter and Chicago police officer.
As part of her plea deal, she is not expected to be sentenced to any jail time despite the fact that after being arrested for the homicide, she was caught continuing to sell drugs.
Cynthia Parker was 17 years old when she and her boyfriend, Brent Tyssen, sold MDMA, also known as “molly,” or “ecstasy” – to Parker’s cousin, 18-year-old Sydney Schergen, the Alsip Patch reported.
On May 30, 2015, Schergen ingested a lethal dose of the drug and was found unresponsive by her father, Chicago firefighter John Schergen.
She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Schergen’s stepmother was Chicago Police Department (CPD) Officer Theresa Almanza.
“Sydney didn’t have a clue,” Officer Almanza told the Alsip Patch. “Prior to them being arrested I just thought they didn’t know what they were doing or gave her a bad mix. Then to find out they talked about it being pure and potent, and the one being her cousin? It just devastated me.”
She said that it took her 16 months after the teen’s death to persuade CPD detectives to begin investigating the incident as a homicide under the drug-induced homicide statute.
It took another 16 months before Parker and Tyssen were arrested for Schergen’s murder.
Parker was charged as a juvenile, and released from jail within 48 hours of being arrested. Tyssen was soon released on bond.
After being released, the pair sold 100 “hits” of LSD to an undercover police officer on Oct. 12, 2017.
No longer a juvenile, the second time around Parker was charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, along with her boyfriend.
“They didn’t know the first time around the effects of dealing drugs could be lethal, then go out and continue to do that. It’s heartbreaking,” Officer Almanza told the Alsip Patch. “It’s a slap in Sydney’s face and our family’s, and a slap to the judicial system.”
Although Officer Almanza recognized that Schergen was responsible for having experimented with drugs, she said that dealers still need to be held accountable for the lethality of the illegal substances they sell.
“My daughter wasn’t an addict. She had just graduated from high school. She had signed up to play volleyball at Moraine Valley Community College,” Officer Almanza said. “Sydney was an athlete and beautiful girl, who had a family that loved her so much.”
Parker and Tyssen were both in custody, and scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 23 for their most recent offenses, The Beverly Review reported.
Tyssen’s next court date in relation to Schergen’s death was scheduled for Feb. 9.
Parker will be sentenced for her cousin’s death on Feb. 27 where a probation-only sentence is expected.