Drew Barrymore's Half-Sister Found Dead of Apparent Overdose

By Shawn Dwyer 07/30/14

Jessica Barrymore was parked on the street in her car surrounded by drugs, according to police.

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In what has been initially deemed an apparent suicide, Jessica Barrymore, the half-sister of actress and director Drew Barrymore, was found dead in National City, California early Tuesday morning. She was 47.

Barrymore was allegedly discovered in her car surrounded by unidentified drugs. According to witnesses, she had been parked on the street since around midnight, but roused no immediate suspicion. "I thought she was sleeping or waiting for someone," said Oscar Sandoval, who saw her vehicle the night before.

At 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, another neighbor, Marta Lopez, tried to leave her driveway to go to work and discovered Barrymore's car blocking her path. She went over to speak with the driver, but found her unresponsive. Lopez called the police, who found Barrymore reclined in her seat with an energy drink between her legs and dozens of white pills nearby.

Police determined that Barrymore was dead at the scene. While the results of an autopsy are still forthcoming, the initial determination is that she used the pills to take her own life.

Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore expressed her shock and disbelief despite not being close to her half-sister. "Although I only met her briefly, I wish her and her loved ones as much peace as possible and I'm so incredibly sorry for their loss," she told US Weekly magazine. The two share the same father, actor John Drew Barrymore.

Barrymore left a mysterious last Facebook message on July 28 that underscored the possibility that she committed suicide.  "Life doesn't always introduce you to the people you WANT to meet," the post read. "Sometimes, life puts you in touch with the people you need to meet to Help You, to Hurt You, to Guide You, to Leave You, to Love You, and to gradually Strengthen You into the Person You Were Meant to Become."

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.