She found Garrett Bardin's prescription bottle of Paxil while the search was still ongoing, and the discovery gave her pause even then.
As the events unfolded and the facts became known, Richie mourned as any mother would, and that mourning will continue. But she was also compelled to dig deeper into the bottle of Paxil.
"I suspected earlier, when I actually found the medication bottle," Richie said. "And it was overwhelming when I started looking into it."
What Richie discovered was that Paxil has a dark side rarely mentioned by those who peddle the pill.
In June 2004, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Paxil, charging the company of withholding information concerning the potential dangers of Paxil, particularly during withdrawal from the medication.
Paxil is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and has been shown to cause akathisia, or severe inner restlessness, in some patients. This can often lead to insomnia and anxiety, as well as aggressive, violent, or suicidal thoughts or actions.
This discovery has led Richie to start a non-profit group in the area named Garrett's PALMS, which stands for Prevention, Awareness, Legislation against Medications that may cause Suicide.