Woman arrested, indicted in case that led to Belle man's heroin-overdose death

Kelve'lina Fowler is accused of selling heroin to Dillon Barton, who died of an overdose in April 2017. (Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman)

After nearly one year of investigating a heroin-related death, law enforcement arrested a suspect Monday.

Kelve'lina Fowler, 23, was booked into the Phelps County Jail and charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and delivery of a controlled substance.

Dillon Barton, of Belle, was 24 years old when he died of a heroin overdose April 27 at his residence. Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman vowed on Facebook two days later he would "use every legal means possible" to see the heroin dealer face consequences. He even offered $500 out of his own pocket as a reward for information leading to a suspect arrest or conviction.

A statement from the Maries County Sheriff's Office stated deputies were able to identify Fowler as a suspect and locate the place of the heroin transaction in Phelps County.

Following Det. Scott John's testimony before the Phelps County Grand Jury involving the investigation, Judge Ronald White issued a warrant for Fowler's arrest. She was taken into custody Monday and booked on a $100,000 bond.

The sheriff's office released the following statement to those who struggle with drug addiction and those who deal drugs:

"Let this be an opportunity for those struggling with this addiction to realize it's not too late to ask for help. Ask a loved one, friend, pastor, civic leader, or even us for help. Sheriff Heitman has assured the public if they voluntarily reach out to the Sheriff's Office for help with their addiction we will assist in disposing of their drugs and paraphernalia without criminal consequence and we will do everything we can to assist you with securing a treatment program.

Let this also be a warning to those selling drugs in Maries County. We are searching for you, we will eventually catch up to you, and if you sell drugs to someone resulting in their death we will do everything in our power to prove your guilt and hold you accountable for those actions in our court system."

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