Those close to Crystal Scott hoped she was leaving life fast. Then she was found dead. | News
Crystal Scott had big plans for January 29.
Sierra Braud, her cousin and one of her best friends, was celebrating her baby’s first birthday. And Scott couldn’t wait to decorate the house she shared with Braud for the big party.
Braud, 26, said she had hoped the celebration would mark a turning point for Scott in the 24-year-old’s tough but free-spirited life. Scott intended to go to a sober house and wanted to start her own business as a party planner.
But then, on January 28 – the day before the anniversary celebration – Scott was found dead in a plastic container in the back of a van outside a house on a dead end road northeast of Gonzales.
Now those dreams are gone.
“She was expecting right after the 29th for my baby’s birthday,” Braud said. “She didn’t want to miss her birthday.
Scott’s death offers insight into a subculture of drugs and crime that exists in even the most rural parts of Ascension Parish.
Ryan Malain, 33, knew Crystal and was arrested with her for drug trafficking in 2020 – charges against him were dropped. Before entering this life more than three years ago, he says he never would have imagined it existed in a rural place like Saint-Amant where he grew up.
Malain said Crystal liked to sit on her back patio and check out the horses nearby and sometimes talked about cleaning herself up. But he said she always seemed to back down.
“She was addicted to life, the fast life,” Malain said. “It’s very attractive and it’s a lot of fun, but it’s very dangerous. A lot of things can’t come with it. You lose a lot.”
“She let too many people in”
Friends, acquaintances and family described Scott as an outspoken, unique and radiant personality who did not back down. They said she lived for the adrenaline rush of the fast life but seemed to be looking for a way out and some stability after tumultuous times.
Scott’s father died when she and her fraternal twin sister were less than a year old, that sister, Casey Scott, said. Scott’s half-sister Tristen Cano added that her death at such a young age sent their mother on a downward spiral and she ended up no longer being a part of their lives.
Both girls attended middle and high school in Dutchtown – Crystal did not finish – and were raised for a few years by Cano when she was in her twenties and up by an aunt and uncle in Prairieville. But the lure of the streets gradually drove them away in adolescence, say the two sisters.
Cano, who is 34, had the honor of giving Crystal and Casey their first names when they were born and remembers caring for them when she was a child and they were infants and small children. Even by the time she had them again in her early teens, the girls were already indulging in this reckless lifestyle.
Cano, a now registered nurse who regularly treats patients dealing with drug addiction, said she has since prepared and cried for the day when drugs might take one.
“And it’s so sad to see someone go from being an innocent child to something so dark and deep,” Cano lamented.
Perhaps because of Crystal’s demons, Braud and others said, Crystal was capable of incredible generosity, welcoming and feeding people at the Prairieville trailer park where she recently lived. They said she was always aware of people who were depressed as she had been in the past.
Some family members have suggested that she remains too open – often at her peril. And that led to a party life that landed her in jail a few times in 2020 for distributing meth and marijuana and other charges and brought her into contact with potentially violent individuals.
“Like I said, she’s one of a kind. You won’t find anyone else like her in the world. She really loved hard, and that was kind of her downfall, you know,” Casey Scott said . “She let too many people in and she never really got the same love in return.”
Crystal Scott was arrested for drug dealing in 2020 with Morris Miles, 28, a man she dated. Miles’ long criminal history includes an accusation that he killed someone at the Prairieville trailer park where Scott would end up staying years later with his cousin, Braud.
At the time of the 2019 shooting, Miles was living with Braud, according to a warrant. He was later arrested for allegedly attacking another girlfriend with a gun.
Friends said Scott and Miles remained close, an almost brother-sister relationship. Miles was in jail at the time of Scott’s death, records show. He pleaded not guilty to the various charges.
Scott’s death has shaken and angered his friends and family for many reasons, they said. Maybe her way of life has finally caught up with her. Maybe it was because of the disrespectful way her body was thrown away.
Or maybe it was just because she was gone.
Crystal’s friends and family held a fundraiser last weekend outside an Airline Highway bar in Prairieville to pay for her funeral. They were selling jambalaya, fried catfish and cookies.
The cause of his death remains undetermined, but deputies have provided no indication that foul play is suspected. His body showed no signs of trauma.
Authorities initially said Scott may have died of a drug overdose and was left in the box by someone too scared to tell authorities.
Sheriff’s investigators also do not believe she died at the De La Bois Road home where her body was found, which is known for suspected drug activity and is a location Crystal knew of, according to sources. friends. Investigators believe the body was left after the fact.
The parish coroner found fentanyl in his system but could not say whether it caused an overdose. A more detailed toxicology report will tell for sure.
Deputies have arrested a man, Sedrick Credit, 43, on charges relating to the improper disposal of his body. But they did not charge him directly in his death.
The credit will not speak to investigators and has a lawyer, the deputies said.
Sheriff’s investigators are looking for another woman last seen with her, along with Credit. They said Thursday they continue to try to figure out how and why Scott died.
Braud, Casey Scott, Cano and others said they suspected something more than an accidental overdose caused Crystal Scott’s death.
One fact that fuels this suspicion is the discovery of fentanyl in Crystal Scott’s system, they said. Although Scott used drugs recreationally, heroin was not his choice, they said. Fentanyl is an additive commonly associated with heroin.
MPs, however, pointed out that fentanyl can contain many other drugs, including methamphetamine and marijuana.
Scott also hated needles, which are a common way to use heroin, and preferred other drugs that were “superiors,” such as methamphetamine, his two sisters said.
“We spent a lot of our lives together in drug addiction,” Casey Scott said.