The cause of death of a Fruitland woman whose body was found in the Snake River in June has been ruled as drowning, and it is believed that huffing intoxication is what ultimately led to her drowning.
Payette County Coroner Keith Schuller says Tonya Goodman’s freshwater drowning in the Snake River was tragic, and was ruled an accident.
One day shy of what would have been Goodman’s 47th birthday on Friday, her niece, Amanda Pope, of Boise, talked to the Argus.
“Mainly, we just want people to know that my aunt was not her addiction, and she was not her depression,” Pope said through tears. “She was beautiful, she was kind, she loved her family and she loved her community, and she really loved to help other people.”
Goodman was “a big part of the motorcycle community,” Pope said, volunteering in many charitable events. These often included fundraising rides for people such as cancer patients and veterans, including a Ride For 22 event, which was organized to help fight the war on veteran suicides, according to information online.
Pope said the motorcycle community “really came through for our family when she passed away, as hundreds showed up to escort her to her final resting place.”
In response to the public finding out about her aunt’s personal struggles, Pope had the following to say.
“Our family is all okay with it. We’re hoping it helps save someone else.”
Pope said her sister is a drug and alcohol counselor, who has noted that the misuse of duster is becoming more and more of a problem, because it’s easy for people to get their hands on and so cheap.”
In the toxicology results and autopsy from the Ada County Coroner, which were received by Schuller last week, it revealed that Goodman’s organs were filled with 1,1-diflouroethane. This is the propellant that is found in Dust-Off, which is compressed air in a can used for blowing dust out of small spaces, typically in electronics. However, the chemical that propels the air can build up in the body to toxic levels, and can in some cases lead to near-instant death.
As for finding out what may have ultimately lead to her aunt’s drowning, Goodman said she thought it would bring more closure than it did.
“We knew when she passed that was a possibility because she has had those struggles,” Pope said.
She added that with Goodman’s birthday Nov. 15, “we’re all struggling again so much.”
In a message from another family member to Schuller, they stated that “Tonya tried hard for so many years with the help of doctors to battle those illnesses working against her, and she lost the battle.”
Goodman was found June 18 upstream from Centennial Park in Payette, where a citizen found her body near the boat docks. Payette County Sheriff’s deputies used a jet boat to recover her body.