Katariina Gibson

Arrest records acquired by The Gazette show that the death of Renee Lowrance was caused by drugs that were smuggled into the jail by another inmate.

Katariina Gibson, 27, was arrested for causing the death of fellow inmate Lowrance, 44, who the El Paso County coroner determined died of a fentanyl overdose in her jail cell earlier this year on Jan. 20. 

Investigation from detectives determined that the drugs Lowrance received were smuggled into jail by Gibson the day before Lowrance's death on Jan. 19, according to the affidavit. 

The affidavit states that detectives reviewed intake scans of Gibson from the day of her arrest and noticed "abnormalities" on the scan which law enforcement believed to be drugs she had in a plastic bag inside her body.

The affidavit states that security footage from inside the jail shows that Gibson spent time with Lowrance and her cellmate following her arrest, including being caught on security camera handing an unidentified object to Lowrance in her jail cell the day she died. 

The affidavit also contains several phone conversations Gibson had from inside the jail that law enforcement alleges related to Gibson's distribution of drugs, including one conversation two days after Lowrance's death where she tells a man "I made it through the scanners and everything. I didn't get caught until they strip searched me." 

The man Gibson was talking to on the phone was a known drug dealer, according to the affidavit, and the item that was confiscated by law enforcement during the strip search was a syringe.

The affidavit also states that an inmate had heard from Letecia Stauch — who is currently awaiting trial for allegedly killing her 11-year-old stepson — that Lowrance's cellmate had received the drugs from "the inmate with the heart tattoo on her chest." 

Gibson has a heart tattoo prominently featured on her chest.

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Gibson was released from jail on Jan. 26, six days after Lowrance's death, and was entered into a sober living facility in El Paso County. The affidavit states that she failed to appear for her Jan. 31 review hearing and a felony warrant was issued for her arrest. 

Gibson's ex-boyfriend allegedly posted this on Facebook the night before she failed to appear in court, according to the affidavit: 

"I am so sad the girl I love has chosen to go off with another man as well as to not go to her probation court and to go on the run to continue her (redacted) addiction. I feel sick!"

Court records show Gibson was arrested on March 3 on suspicion of proximate cause of death by unlawful distribution of fentanyl — a class-1 drug felony — and second-degree contraband introduction. 

Gibson currently resides in the El Paso County jail on a $100,000 bond. Gibson's next court appearance is scheduled to be a bond hearing on April 5 for two older cases: a 2020 and 2021 case where Gibson is charged with several counts of controlled substance distribution.

The affidavit states that in 2020 Gibson was caught trying to smuggle methamphetamines into the El Paso County jail and in 2019 was caught selling drugs to an undercover detective. 

Gibson has also been convicted in El Paso County of knowing or reckless child abuse causing injury in 2019 and driving while ability impaired in 2018.

Gibson is slated to next appear in court for the case relating to the death of Lowrance on April 17 for a preliminary hearing.

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