'I'm not the only one suffering:' Mom wants laws changed after losing 2 sons to drugs this year

A mother is turning her heartbreak into a drive for change after losing two of her sons to drug-related incidents.

"I wake up and immediately, the first thing that comes to my mind is that my boys are dead.  They both died, I'm assuming Trevor did, because of drugs," Brenda West-Bresnahan told The Spotlight.

Brenda’s son, Trevor, was reported missing in August of this year when he took his dog, Bear, to visit a friend in Stevens County.

The last time she heard from him was Aug. 11. She reported missing on Aug. 17 when he didn't come to her home in Orting as planned. 

A week after he was last heard from, a woman called Trevor’s mother to say that she had found a dog wandering on Springdale-Hunters Rd in Stevens County with her contact number on it. That dog was Bear.

But Trevor was nowhere to be seen.

Unfortunately, his body was found later that month. 

Deputies suspect the death is a homicide and might be drug-related.

Brenda thinks the pull of addiction was just too strong and Trevor relapsed, but toxicology reports are still pending.

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"I look at Bear and I think ‘man, I wish you could talk.’ I wish I could call Trevor and ask him what happened, but I can't," Brenda said.

Trevor isn’t the only son Brenda lost this year.

In March, Tyler Bresnahan overdosed on fentanyl in Bonney Lake. She raced there when she got the call, not wanting to believe her son was gone.

Her son's truck had been running for four hours. Brenda says there was no consoling her until a chaplain finally intervened.

"He actually had to put his hands on my face and whisper, 'Brenda, your son is gone. His body is cold and he's not coming back. He's passed away,'" she said.

Now, she's turning her grief into action.

"These people that are selling the drugs, once they get found. They need to be put away but also the laws need to be changed and we need to quit letting these drugs across our borders," she said.

She's hoping to meet with state legislators to push them to make felony drug possession illegal again. Right now, police can only refer people to treatment.

Brenda believes jail is the best place for addicts to start the process of getting clean and wants fully funded treatment programs.

"It’s time the legislature stand up for families and victims of crime. I'm not the only one suffering from the new drug laws and crime laws and I felt like they needed to stop legalizing more drugs and letting people go," Brenda said.

Brenda said she feels empty now and is working hard to remember the best things about her sons including Trevor's work with DNR fighting fires, his peer support work to help other addicts and the time he spent volunteering at a Foursquare church in Bellevue.

"Just because they are on drugs or doing drugs, they do have the capacity to change," she said.

She said she doesn't want another mom to suffer the emptiness she feels right now.

"I want people to realize how would you like it if this was your son or your uncle or your brother or your father? You would want to know, so give some information. So if you know, just give some information anonymously."

Anyone with information on Trevor’s case is asked to call the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 684-2555 and reference case number 2208664. Based on their early investigation, detectives believe the suspect or suspects are from western Washington.