The New York Police Department has announced that the death of Kathryn Marie Gallagher has become a homicide investigation after a medical examiner ruled that she died as a result of acute intoxication. Photo courtesy of the Family of Kathryn Marie Gallagher/Koch Funeral Home
March 26 (UPI) -- Eight months after the death of an up-and-coming fashion designer in New York City, investigators have ruled her suspicious death a homicide.
The New York Police Department has announced that the death of Kathryn Marie Gallagher has become a homicide investigation after a medical examiner ruled that she died as a result of acute intoxication, The New York Times reported.
Gallagher, 35, was reportedly intoxicated on a fatal cocktail of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl and ethanol, her autopsy revealed. Investigators are calling the circumstances of her intoxication a "drug-facilitated theft," suggesting that she was unknowingly drugged by someone who intended to rob her.
The fashion designer was discovered dead in July in her Manhattan apartment. On Friday, law enforcement officials said they could not identify what was missing from her home, if anything, WNBC reported.
"The homicide determination shared by the medical examiner today affirms what we knew: Katie was the victim of a crime," Gallagher's family told WNBC in a statement.
"We have been holding this information while awaiting the official ruling. Sharing this news helps us set the record straight, demand accountability, and grieve more openly."
Gallagher's death is one of several being investigated as drug facilitated thefts in New York City, The Guardian reported. There have been 26 similar cases in the city in the past year, including five in Manhattan's lower east side, though police are not suggesting there is a connection between her case and others.
Gallagher was an alumna of Rhode Island School of Design, which said she "embodied the strong work ethic of a Leo, her star sign, and strived for perfection in all of her designs" in a memoriam article.
In 2010, Gallagher started a fashion line. She has dressed stars like Lady Gaga, Rita Ora and Laverne Cox.
"She was unique, beautiful, smart, unabashed, and always wanting. She was hardworking and talented, with so many ideas and plans for future projects," Gallagher's in memoriam by RISD reads.
"We are so proud of who she was and all she achieved in her brief but full and beautiful life. She was Katie, our daughter, sister, aunt, and friend."