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Warren Ullom: Death, drugs and rock 'n' roll, Part I 

A talented musician. A beautiful woman. A fatal cocktail of heroin and cocaine.

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Warren told Sweet that Rachel had used just a small amount of boy. Look, he would later recall Warren saying, "She's breathing."

"Will she be OK?" Sweet asked.

"She's fine," Warren answered.

According to Sweet, Warren said he'd found himself in a similar situation with another woman. On that occasion, Warren said, he'd injected the woman with cocaine and her condition improved. It would be the same with Rachel.

Sweet handed Warren the two pink baggies of coke in exchange for $80. Before Warren had the chance to inject Rachel with the supposed antidote, Sweet went ahead and shot up his own heroin-cocaine cocktail.

From that point on, both Sweet and Warren were pretty far gone. Sweet would later recall that, looking down from his high, in the rare flashes of lucidity between stretches of drugged-out slumber, he saw Rachel continue to breathe, slowly. He would remember her mumbling incoherently here and there. He would claim to have noticed Warren injecting her with a second round of cocaine. He would say he observed Warren performing CPR on Rachel, and that she was fading.

At 7 a.m., three hours after he arrived, Sweet sat up, looked at Rachel and noticed she was turning blue. "This girl is dying," he told Warren. He said they needed to call 911.

They argued. Sweet says Warren wanted him to go home and get his pickup truck so the two could take Rachel to a hospital and drop her off. Sweet begrudgingly agreed. He says he believed Rachel was still breathing when he walked outside. But he did not go get his truck. Instead, he called 911.

At about that time, Warren's girlfriend called. She would later recall that Warren told her there was a woman in the apartment, that the woman had ODed, that she'd stopped breathing. He mentioned that someone else was at the apartment. He mentioned a pickup truck. His girlfriend was confused by him; he was borderline incoherent.

"Take her to the hospital," she recalls saying.

Warren hung up, called her back and hung up again. His girlfriend tried to get back through to him, but he was growing increasingly incomprehensible. Finally, Warren hung up on her.

Meanwhile, on the line with the 911 operator, Sweet, reeling from the buzz of drugs and blur of lack of sleep, relayed as best he could directions to Warren's apartment. He hung up and called Warren, telling him to get rid of any drugs left in the apartment because the paramedics were on the way. As he walked away from the scene, he heard the sirens screaming.

It's impossible to say for sure, but there's a chance that, had the ambulance found Warren's apartment at that moment, Rachel might have lived. But the ambulance was adrift. The driver had a general location based on what Sweet had told 911, but Sweet didn't give an exact address. The operator called Sweet back to say the driver couldn't find the place. But Sweet was blocks away by then and didn't know Warren's street number.

Around that time, Sweet got a text from Warren — a text that, four months later, he would show his lawyers and several federal prosecutors: "she is better no ambulance."

After circling the block a few times, the ambulance was called off. Over the next 25 minutes, Warren and Sweet called each other eight times. Then, almost exactly a half-hour after sending the text to call off the ambulance — and nearly five hours after making his initial distress call to Sweet — Warren finally called 911.

When the ambulance drew near, the paramedics saw Warren standing on the curb, flagging them down.

The EMTs hurried inside. They found Rachel propped up on the couch, slightly leaned over. She was soaking wet and wearing a T-shirt and panties. Her right arm was streaked with needle marks. She wasn't breathing and had no pulse.

Paramedics performed CPR and injected Rachel's left arm — which was clean of track marks — with epinephrine and atropine, drugs intended to kick-start her heart. Warren informed them Rachel had shot up with heroin four times and "went to sleep" about an hour-and-a-half earlier. He said he'd dumped cold water on her to try to wake her up.

The paramedics pulled Rachel's ID from her purse on the floor, loaded her onto a stretcher and rushed her into the rear of the ambulance. As they left, they saw Warren in front of the apartment building, drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. He wrote, "We love Rachel."

ABOUT THE STORY: This narrative was pieced together using court records, medical documents, autopsy reports, a dozen on- and off-the-record interviews, and a letter sent by Warren Ullom in response to a list of questions about his addiction, his crime and his recovery. Names have been withheld of certain individuals who were accused of wrongdoing but did not face criminal charges.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Rachel's loved ones urge authorities to take a closer look at what police initially viewed as a run-of-the-mill overdose; a federal task force catches up with Warren and Sweet's dealer, "Batman," who'd been slinging a killer batch of high-purity heroin; Sweet wears a wire as part of an undercover investigation; and Warren gets clean — and races to record something meaningful — before confronting his fate.

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