Only On 6: Mother of 5-year-old found dead in Ridgway speaks
RIDGWAY, Pa. -- A heartbroken mother is now trying to make sense of a tragedy.
Ashlee Druhot's 5-year-old son, O'Ryan Murphy, was found dead inside a Ridgway apartment Wednesday morning.
She talked only with 6 News about how she and her family are dealing with such a loss.
"He slept with a monkey. He pretended to be a monkey in a million pictures. I could never get him to stop trying to poof his cheeks out and be a monkey."
That's how Druhot is remembering her son. She says he loved animals, especially monkeys, Batman, and all of his siblings. He was excited to begin kindergarten.
"He was very, very innocent. He was my happiest child."
It was Wednesday morning in Ridgway when a death investigation began at 149 1/2 Main Street. Druhot says O'Ryan was staying with an aunt and uncle on his father's side, part of a visitation, when his body was found.
"I got a call from my mother saying I needed to call a number for Children and Youth Services and unfortunately, no one before them could tell me exactly what had happened," she says. "It's a lot harder taking that news from a stranger than it would have been from my mother or any other family members."
Right now it's unclear how the boy died as Elk County Coroner Michelle Muccio says she's waiting for results of a full toxicology report.
We stopped by the police station to get an update on the case. We were told any new details would be released pending those results.
For now, Druhot says the waiting and the unknown is the worst part.
"I think that'll be the biggest closure for me is to know why he's not here. Because so far it just feels like he's been taken."
The apartment where O'Ryan was found now has a danger notice attached to it saying no one can be inside. The Ridgway Borough Manager Paul McCurdy says the apartment is "unsafe for people to live there."
Druhot tells us funeral arrangements have been set up in Meadville, Crawford County. She wants the community there and in Elk County to know O'Ryan was loved.
"It wasn't just a 5-year-old boy. It was a 5-year-old person. He had a whole, very loving life. He wasn't just found in some apartment in some town," says Druhot.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the unexpected funeral costs.