Mom seeks closure after son’s heroin overdose
NEW CANAAN — In the year since Christopher Lynch died, he has been sending his mother, Pam Bacco, signs of his presence — most notably, feathers.
“He sends me feathers on bad days,” Bacco said. “He should be at peace.”
On Aug. 31, nearly one year after Lynch’s death on Sept. 25, 2016, Bacco, along with her husband Craig, stood outside the Stamford Courthouse. Visible on her arms were tye-dyed feather tattoos, an homage to her son who also loved the colorful pattern. Moments prior, Christopher’s father, Mark Lynch, 58, appeared for the ninth time on charges of manslaughter, possession, and distribution of narcotics after he allegedly gave Christopher Lynch the heroin that led to his fatal overdose.
At the time of his death, Christopher Lynch was nine months sober after moving out to Colorado to live with his mother and longtime girlfriend. According to a police affidavit, the elder Lynch introduced his son to heroin and was a known user himself. The younger Lynch was apprehensive about seeing his father because of their history but decided to stay with him when he and his girlfriend returned to Connecticut for a scheduled court appearance.
On the morning of Sept. 25, New Canaan police and emergency medical services responded to the elder Lynch’s Parade Hill Road home where Christopher Lynch was found unresponsive. After several unsuccessful attempts to revive him, Christopher Lynch was declared dead at the scene. He was 25-years-old.
A police investigation claims Mark Lynch gave his son heroin the night of Sept. 24, despite knowing his son’s history and that he was in recovery. Lynch admitted to investigators on the scene that he supplied the drugs and turned over a coin purse with a black straw and heroin.
On Nov. 21, following a lengthy investigation, Mark Lynch turned himself into New Canaan police on second-degree manslaughter charges, possession and distribution of narcotics related to his son’s death. On Dec. 16, he pled “not guilty” to the charges. It has been a waiting game ever since as Mark Lynch’s attorney, Matthew Maddox, works on negotiations with State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo.
After seeing Mark Lynch walk in and out of court eight times, Bacco, still living in Colorado, decided to fly out to stand in court on behalf of her son.
“It’s been really hard,” she said. “I get the feeling he’s (Mark Lynch) is running the show. Colangelo said they’re working on it. There’s more than enough evidence. I would like everything to finish up. I’d like him to say he’s guilty.”
“All Chris wanted to do was watch football with him,” she said, referring to her son’s final visit with his father. “But he couldn’t even do that. Instead, he gave him a straw. It should’ve never happened.”
Since her son’s death, Bacco said she’s been struggling daily with the grief, numbness, and anger that comes with losing a loved one. She’s gotten several tattoos in Christopher Lynch’s honor and wears two pendants: one of Saint Christopher and the other depicting a set of wings. Bacco has been keeping posted on the trial from afar through the help of Colangelo. Still, she said her frustrations have been mounting as the one-year mark of Mark Lynch’s arrest approaches without any end in sight.
“Every time he slides in and out of court, it’s like it’s not important,” she said. “The hardest part is the build up. I’m a wreck the week before. Then I get another court date. Something needs to let go so I can move forward. He needs to take responsibility. He wouldn’t take him to school, he wouldn't take him to doctor’s appointments, but he took his life.”
Bacco also returned to Fairfield County (after moving away about a decade ago) to attend the Overdose Awareness Vigil in New Canaan where her son was honored on the wall of remembrance with photos and messages written on orange heart-shaped stickers. Around the younger Lynch’s photos, people wrote how much they loved and missed the New Canaan High School graduate.
“I miss your smile,” read one sticker.
Bacco said she hopes through all her grief that other people remember her son.
“It’s about Christopher,” Bacco said. “I don’t want another parent to go through this. You don’t know how to grieve. You don’t know how to move on.”
Maddox said he had no comment on behalf of Mark Lynch.