A 7-Year-Old Kept Her Siblings Alive After Parents Died of Overdose

A couple was found dead in the den of their McKeesport, Pennsylvania, home from suspected drug overdoses on Monday, October 3. 

Authorities said they discovered the bodies of Jessica Lally, 25, and Christopher Dilly, 26, after the couple’s 7-year-old daughter told her school bus driver that she hadn’t been able to wake up her parents that morning, the Washington Post reported. Three other children — ages 5, 3 and 9 months — were also found unharmed inside the house and taken to a hospital to be evaluated.

Jessica Lally Christopher Dilly
Jessica Lally and Christopher Dilly Courtesy Courtney Lally

The mother and father may have been dead for more than a day before they were discovered, Allegheny County Police Llieutenant Andrew Schurman told the New York Daily News

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Lally’s sister Courtney Lally tells Us Weekly that the 7-year-old kept her siblings alive. “She fed the infant bottles,” Courtney says. “She is a straight-A student and will cry if you ask her if she wants to stay home from school. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up.”

Jessica Lally Christopher Dilly daughter
Jessica Lally’s 7-year-old daughter Courtesy Courtney Lally

Before falling into addiction, the second grader’s mom also had big aspirations. “Jessica was an honor roll student,” Courtney tells Us. “She wanted to be a professional baseball player. She was the happiest person alive.”

But Courtney says everything changed when Jessica, who worked as a sales rep for Cricket Wireless, met Dilly six years ago. “He turned her onto heavier drugs,” says Courtney. “It was a toxic relationship … but she was defensive and would say they weren’t [using] and that he didn’t need help.”

Jessica Lally Christopher Dilly
Jessica Lally’s three children Courtesy Courtney Lally

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“I wish I would’ve tried harder,” says Courtney. “Don’t give up on your family, especially if they’re doing drugs, because you don’t know when they might overdose. The heroin epidemic is horrible.”

While Jessica and Dilly’s kids were placed with Allegheny County Children Youth and Families, Courtney told WPXI News that she and her mother will fight for temporary custody at a hearing Wednesday, October 5.

Jessica Lally Christopher Dilly
Jessica Lally and Christopher Dilly’s home in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

There were 422 overdose deaths in Allegheny County last year, per a July 2016 report.

The Lally family is still waiting on autopsy reports.

Courtney set up a GoFundMe to help cover Jessica’s funeral expenses.

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