Police and media stated on Friday that a young fashion designer who had clothed Lady Gaga and other celebrities was killed in her Manhattan apartment last year using a toxic combination of fentanyl and other narcotics.
A police source has reported that a concerned neighbor saw Kathryn “Katie” Gallagher’s keys dangling outside her apartment on Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side and went to investigate. Once inside, the neighbor found Gallagher’s lifeless body face up on her bed.
On Friday, the medical examiner ruled that Gallagher died of acute intoxication from a combination of fentanyl, ethanol, and the synthetic opioid p-Fluorofentanyl, thereby classifying her dea†h as a homicide.
According to police sources, the promising designer was the victim of grand theft that may be related to a string of at least 26 recent “drug-facilitated” robberies across the city, including the East Village, the Lower East Side, and the Bronx.
Police are looking into the possible connection between Gallagher’s dea†h and that of 33-year-old Kenwood Allen, who was arrested in December and charged with murder in the overdose robbery murders of two Lower East Side clubgoers.
Although Allen has not been arrested for Gallagher’s dea†h, he is suspected of being a part of a violent group that preys on drunk clubgoers by drugging and robbing them. Two of his co-defendants are also being investigated for possible links to Gallagher’s death.
When Allen was arrested, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said that the gang “targets its victims exiting bars, giving narcotics in certain cases, then either through force or when the victim passes out,” referring to the theft of valuables like jewelry, cash, and high-end watches and phones.
According to her alma institution, Rhode Island School of Design, Gallagher was “a painter and internationally acclaimed fashion designer” who launched her namesake label in New York City in 2010.
Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, and W throughout the past decade, and celebrities including Laverne Cox, Rita Ora, and Lady Gaga have worn her collections. Kourtney Kardashian and Rita Ora, among others, have been spotted wearing her designs.
A former coworker told The Post that in 2016 before her apparel company became successful, she worked as a bartender at Flats Fix Taqueria & Tequila Bar on the corner of East 16th Street and Broadway in the East Village. No one knew if anything was stolen from her apartment or how the narcotics got into her system.
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In August, a memorial service was conducted for Gallagher in her native state of Pennsylvania, and in May, a celebration of her life will be held. The family of the talented artist Gallagher has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to finish his final collection. They are planning a fall New York City exhibition of her art.
Their “proudness of who she was and everything she achieved in her brief but complete and beautiful life” is expressed in Gallagher’s obituary, which states that her parents, grandmother, and three sisters survive her.
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