ADA — The last time Holly Bess, 23, spoke with her father, Barry Ross Bess, 52, was Tuesday night around 9:45. The next morning around 6 a.m. she found him on his knees slumped forward on his bedroom floor, dead.
Barbara Vanzant, 44, Bess’ girlfriend who was at the scene, was transported to Valley View Regional Hospital after Ada Police Officer Kathi Johnston noticed Vanzant reportedly appeared to be under the influence of drugs. According to police reports, Vanzant’s symptoms became worse during the investigation.
Holly Bess told police when she spoke with her father over the phone the night before, he sounded strange and she asked him if he was okay. He told her he had fallen asleep at the home of LaDonna Brown, Vanzant’s sister, and would be home shortly, according to the police report.
Holly said she went to bed before her father and Vanzant returned home around 10:30 p.m. Brown told police that Vanzant and Bess were at her house on Tuesday night and both were intoxicated on pills, barely able to walk. She said Bess had several types of pills, Loratab, Xanax and Oxycotin. Brown said she and her husband drove Vanzant and Bess to their home in the 800 block of N. Stockton around 10:30 p.m.
Vanzant told police she went to bed after they returned home and Bess fell asleep in a living room chair. She reportedly said she woke about 6 a.m. Wednesday and found Bess on the floor of the bedroom and, unable to wake him, she covered him with a blanket. Holly Bess found him in that position and saw Vanzant in the bed with her arm over him. Holly said she woke Vanzant and asked her what was wrong with her father and Vanzant stated he went to sleep that way and she had been unable to wake him. Holly then attempted to wake her father, found he was not breathing, and called for an ambulance.
According to police reports, Vanzant’s speech was slow and thick and she was having trouble walking and staying awake during the investigation.
The police and medical examiners office are continuing the investigation.