LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) – For 48 weeks, the Gallagher’s have been waiting for justice for their daughter Katie. This week, a Manhattan grand jury indicted her alleged killer, and they’re exhaling for the first time.
The fashion designer, who worked with Lady Gaga and Laverne Cox, was found dead last July during a wellness check inside her Eldridge Street apartment.
“My heart sank right there…A vibrant young beautiful person who was just trying to make her life,” said Debbie Gallagher, speaking for the first time since her daughter’s homicide.
Prosecutors said Katie, 35, had been drugged outside her building by Kenwood Allen as he encountered her leaving a bar alone.
“Seven steps from her apartment when she was approached by that individual,” recalled Barry Gallagher of his daughter’s fate.
Investigators said she was one of nearly two dozen victims of a two-man callous robbery crew.
Allen and Sean Shirley allegedly drugged their targets to rob them from June to December 2022.
All became incapacitated from the effects of Fentanyl.
“The smallest amounts are lethal, as the ingestion of an unknown substance is potentially deadly,” explained DEA Special Agent Frank Tarantino.
A deadly cocktail was found in Gallagher’s system and ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
“Bottom line, she was a victim of what they call a ‘fishing expedition,’” explained Debbie.
According to the district attorney, four victims who fatally overdosed in 15 days are linked to the Allen and Shirley duo. Both men are facing 15 years to life in prison if convicted.
The bodies of two men, Sadath Ahmed and Alex Rudnitsky, were also found in the Bronx last summer.
The Gallagher’s are speaking out for the first time, hoping this doesn’t shatter another family.
“I look at young people out and about, and I think, be with someone — your friends,” said Barry.
A fundraiser has been started by Gallagher’s sisters to help give future fashion designers their start.