NORFOLK, Va. – After a woman was sentenced for distributing fatal drugs out of her Oceanfront home, the family of a woman who died of a related overdose is talking about their 23-year-old daughter whose life was cut short.
Bobby Ratcliff said his life will never be the same now that his daughter, Kim Smith, is gone. He said, “Everyday I wake up and look out the blinds to see if her car is in the driveway. Every single day."
Ratcliff said Kim was smart; she even skipped ahead a grade in school. She cared for her dying grandparents and started a job where she quickly gained a manager position.
On December 17, 2017, Kim overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl and died. Ratcliff was home. “She passed away upstairs in her bedroom, and I was downstairs and I went up to ask her something and I found her,” he said.
Kim’s dad said she struggled with depression after having a miscarriage, losing her dog to cancer and then losing both her grandparents one after another. Ratcliff said he was bringing Kim to the methadone clinic every day and she was clean and sober for months before she went back to drugs.
Ratcliff said it was a threat from the people associated with drug dealer Michele Best, who pulled his daughter back in. Court documents prove the drugs Kim got from Best killed her.
In a recorded phone call, Best was heard saying to "continue business as usual" once she had heard someone had died of an overdose because of drugs she had made.
Ratcliff said those details came out in court on Thursday.
“It upset me quite a bit because you don't have remorse. You know you’re selling something that can take lives, and it’s taken many lives.”
Court documents report Best sold drugs out of a Virginia Beach home on Southside Drive. The house she inherited after her mother passed away was used as a drug trafficking headquarters, according to paperwork.
A SWAT team recovered cocaine, weed, heroin, guns and cash after their March 2018 raid. Best had been making and selling drugs from there since the September prior.
Best plead guilty to manufacturing and distributing drugs in a federal courthouse. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison.