The death of a fashion designer whose clients included Lady Gaga is believed to be tied to a series of robberies that involved drugging people and then stealing from them, ABC News reports.
On Friday, New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled that 35-year-old Kathryn Marie Gallagher’s death was a homicide. Investigators believe that Gallagher suffered a drug overdose from fentanyl, p-fluoro fentanyl, and ethanol before a neighbor found her body in her apartment on New York’s Lower East Side in July 2022.
Police sources told ABC News that Gallagher was a victim of grand larceny and that her death appears to be linked to other cases of victims who were drugged and then robbed.
Two other known victims are 29-year-old Nurbu Shera, who was attacked in March 2022 and found in front of a building in the East Village, and 26-year-old Ardijan Berisha, who in July 2022 was found near a building in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Prosecutors have charged 33-year-old Kenwood Allen with murder in connection with the deaths of Shera and Berisha. Allen has pleaded not guilty.
In a statement, Gallagher’s family said the medical examiner’s ruling would aid in the grieving process.
“The homicide determination shared by the medical examiner today affirms what we knew: Katie was the victim of a crime,” the statement read, according to WNBC-TV. “Sharing this news helps us set the record straight, demand accountability and grieve more openly.”
Authorities believe that Allen’s attacks are different from a similar pattern in which members of New York City’s LGBTQ community were drugged and rubbed, according to ABC News.
Gallagher’s clothing line, which she established in 2010 under the name “Katie Gallagher,” was worn by celebrities including Lady Gaga, Laverne Cox and New York City Ballet dancers, according to WNBC-TV.
“She was unique, beautiful, smart, unabashed, and always wanting,” her obituary read.
“She was hardworking and talented, with so many ideas and plans for future projects. We are so proud of who she was and all she achieved in her brief but full and beautiful life. She was Katie, our daughter, sister, aunt, and friend.”
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[Feature Photo: Kathryn Marie Gallagher/Koch Funeral Home]