Centennial woman charged in death, linked to others

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A former Cherry Creek teacher’s aide faces one charge of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of one man, and is linked to the deaths of three other individuals.

According to court documents, 50-year-old Almeda Beth Sullivan of Centennial is charged with the death of 21-year-old Carter Lee Higdon, who died of a drug overdose in her home on Oct. 1, 2011.

Investigators found Sullivan connected to the 2008 deaths of Sierra Renee Cochran, 19; Lindsey Jo Saidy, 28; and Martynas “Tez” Simankas, 20.

Sullivan told investigators that at Higdon’s request, she picked him on Sept. 30, 2011, and brought him to her home.

She said the two talked until about 3 a.m. when Higdon fell asleep.

Sullivan said when she arose early the next morning, Oct. 1, 2011, to take her daughter to a track meet, Higdon was still sleeping.

When she returned around 1 p.m., she said she saw foam coming out of his mouth and could not wake him.

Sullivan contacted Higdon’s mother and stepfather, who insisted she call 911.

On a recording of that 911 call, Sullivan can be heard saying, “I didn’t give him anything.”

According to the warrant, Sullivan admitted to selling prescription pills.

Two years earlier, on Jan. 13, 2008, 19-year-old Sierra Renee Cochran also died of an overdose in the same home.

Sullivan was employed by the Cherry Creek School District from 2003 to 2005 as a bus driver and teacher’s aide.

She is due in Arapahoe County Court later this month.