Parents react to murder charge for son’s fatal overdose


PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — We have new reaction from the parents of a Pender County man who died from a drug overdose in April after the woman accused of selling him the drugs was charged with second degree murder.

It has been an emotional couple of days for Cindy Patane and Wiley Eyster after they heard about that murder charge. They said it does not bring their son back, but it is the accountability that matters.

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“I don’t think it’s a win win situation,” Patane said. “I don’t think anybody wins in this situation.”

Every day Patane wakes up knowing she will never see her son Matthew again, but that is why she and Matthew’s dad Wiley now wake up every day fighting.

“Since August, I have been pushing the DA,” Patane said.

Matthew died of an overdose on April 6. Patane said after months of fighting for justice, a grand jury finally indicted Melinda Chaulk, 38 with second degree murder accused of selling him those drugs.

“I don’t think I’m either happy or,” Eyster said.

“I broke down in tears,” Patane said, “They were happy tears, sad tears, kind of a mixture.”

Patane said it is a sense of justice, but not for them.

“It’s not going to change anything for us, but it’s justice for individuals who may have been sold pills by her,” Patane said.

Because ever since Matthew died, she has been fighting for the rest of her community.

“We’ve started an organization called Sneads Ferry HOPE. Heroin Opiate Prevention Education,” Patane said.

Now, every day, Patane tells Matthew’s story.

“It’s pretty emotional, because I take them through from the time when Matt was little,” Patane said.

Patane said she hopes one day she will get to face Chaulk, and while she is not quite sure what she will say, she hopes Chaulk knows his story.

“I want her just to realize that my son was worth more than the $17 that he paid her for that pill,” Patane said.

She said Chaulk is not going to be a focus in their story though.

“I don’t want it to become a negative,” Patane said. “I’ve tried to stay positive in all that we’ve done. I’ve tried to find the good things out of the bad, because I can’t go down that road.”

They just hope they can now change someone else’s story.

“I just hope you know if people start to see other people that are doing these same activities, it’s not worth it,” Eyster said.

In the spring, Chaulk was arrested on several drug charges after Matthew’s death. District Attorney Ben David said she appeared in court today and the judge gave her a $100,000 secured bond.