Summary:

Paragraph 29 reads: "As she told the police about her missing son, she remembered that when he was 4, he was placed on Ritalin for attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity. By the time he was 15, his symptoms had become increasingly severe and doctors diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. Once he started taking the medication to control the symptoms of that disorder, his behavior improved."

Also: "His mother had been awake almost all night Sunday, May 21, trying to comfort and protect Justice after he feared he might have accidentally doubled up on two of his prescription medications."

"Although he suffered from short-term memory problems, at 17 Justice was normally able to monitor his own medication. Until that night. Instinctively, Douglass took the Adderal, Risperdal and Wellbutrin and hid them in her room."

"When her son began hallucinating and running through the house  screaming and throwing his arms around wildly at a monstrous hand that wasn’t there  his mother stayed close to him, trying to protect him and calm him down."

http://www.madisoncourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=253&ArticleID=30670&TM=42078.6 


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Her son will always be nearby

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

When Pam Douglass’ teenage son, Justice Hazelgrove, died, she and 11 other friends and family all got tattoos in his memory. The tattoo, which bears his name and his and her favorite colors, is a part of him that she carries with her. (Staff photo by Julie Kish)
Justice Hazelgrove ran out of his front door without his shoes at 7:30 a.m. Monday, May 22.

It would be the last time his family would see him alive.

What began that day as every parent’s worst nightmare ended three days later when Hazelgrove was found dead in a creek behind a house less than a half-mile from his home.

Today, his mother, Pam Douglass, can feel her son’s presence on her right shoulder blade.

Soon after his burial, she received a tattoo reading: “In loving memory of Justice M. Hazelgrove” on a ribbon wrapped around a cross.

It’s her way of being close to him the rest of her life, a lasting memory of her son.

In a series of events that began May 21, Douglass changed from a hard-working single mother trying to raise four children alone to a grieving woman, struggling to pick up the pieces and trying to keep a devastated family intact.

Douglass has rethought the events that led up to her son’s disappearance Monday, May 22, over and over again in her head.

Her son was just finishing his freshman year at Madison Consolidated High School. The move two years before to Madison from North Vernon had been a good one, especially for Justice, who was placed in special-education classes, where he thrived.

He did his schoolwork and didn’t cause any trouble.

The medication he took for bipolar disorder and ADHD ensured that.

Monday, May 22, would have been the last day of his freshman year, but he was absent from all his classes that day.

On the previous Friday, Douglass had taken Justice to the dermatologist to check the severe acne that covered his face, chest, back and upper arms. The tetracycline wasn’t working. The doctor would prescribe Accutane, but Justice never got to take it.

His mother had been awake almost all night Sunday, May 21, trying to comfort and protect Justice after he feared he might have accidentally doubled up on two of his prescription medications.

Although he suffered from short-term memory problems, at 17 Justice was normally able to monitor his own medication.

Until that night.

Instinctively, Douglass took the Adderal, Risperdal and Wellbutrin and hid them in her room.

When her son began hallucinating and running through the house — screaming and throwing his arms around wildly at a monstrous hand that wasn’t there — his mother stayed close to him, trying to protect him and calm him down.

When he grabbed a glass dolphin a little smaller than a football and began flailing it around, Douglass feared that he would throw it through a window. As he ran into his bedroom, he threw it against the wall. It fell to the ground, its fins still embedded in the wall.

Exhausted, Justice eventually fell asleep.

He was sleeping peacefully when Douglass prepared to go to work the next morning as hostess/waitress at Bob Evans Restaurant — only possible because her oldest son, 19-year-old Chris, would be at the house.

Justice’s 15-year-old sister, Valeria, and 9-year-old brother, Geronimo, who suffers from terminal skin cancer, would also be home.

When he awoke, Justice Hazelgrove appeared to be in a rage and ran outside, distraught and disoriented. Douglass and her ex-husband Wilbur Hazelgrove,Jr. suspected he might try to get to his father’s house in North Vernon.

When Justice didn’t show up at his father’s home Tuesday morning, Douglass grabbed a picture of her son and hurried to the Madison police station.

She looked around just in time to see a kind-faced man in street clothes walking toward her.

Police Detective John Wallace was just arriving at work.

She later would refer to him as the guardian angel she needed to get her through the ordeal.

As she told the police about her missing son, she remembered that when he was 4, he was placed on Ritalin for attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity. By the time he was 15, his symptoms had become increasingly severe and doctors diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. Once he started taking the medication to control the symptoms of that disorder, his behavior improved.

At 17, he loved his moped, playing his Gameboy and listening to music.

He enjoyed spending time with his family.

After he disappeared, Justice was sighted by a few local residents who recognized him from his dyed black hair and shoeless feet. He was seen in the company of a boy approximately 13 years old on a bicycle.

Justice’s mother might never know where her son was, who he might have been with or the events that led to his death during the 3 1/2 days after he ran shoeless out of his house.

But Douglass knows about the pain of the tragic loss of a child, something, she said, she never in a million years would have thought would happen to her.

Any more than she expected eight miscarriages.

Any more than she expected to bear a son born with xeroderma pigmentosa, now diagnosed with terminal skin cancer.

Any more than having a child with bipolar disorder.

It’s almost more than a mother can endure.



Related Stories
Foul play not expected in teen’s death
Madison teen missing since Monday morning

Memorial established for family
By PAT WHITNEY

Courier Staff Writer

Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre has created a memorial fund for Justice Matthew Hazelgrove, a 17-year-old Madison youth missing for 3 1/2 days who was found dead in a creek behind a house in the 500 block of Eighth Street on May 25 — less than a half-mile from his home.

He had been without medication critical to his well-being the entire time.

According to County Coroner Alice Carlson Jackson, an autopsy was inconclusive on the cause of death. A final report is pending results of a toxicology exam and medical examiner’s findings.

No foul play is suspected.

The family has no life insurance and is facing funeral and burial expenses of $10,500.

Hazelgrove was the son of Pam Douglass and stepson of Jerry Douglass of Madison, and the son of Wilbur D. Jr. and stepson of Julie Hazelgrove of North Vernon.

The funeral was May 31 at Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre. Burial was in Union Presbyterian Cemetery in Westport, where Hazelgrove’s paternal grandfather, Wilbur D. Hazelgrove Sr., is buried.

Hazelgrove’s father is out of work and his mother is too distraught to return to her hostess/waitress job. In the 1 1/2 years she has worked at Bob Evans Restaurant on Clifty Drive before the tragedy, she had never missed a day or ever been late.

To assist the family, checks can be mailed to the Justice Hazelgrove Memorial Fund, c/o Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, 325 Demaree Drive, Madison, IN 47250, or donations can be dropped off at the funeral center.