A 24-year-old woman is dead after overdosing on fentanyl while in a rehab facility in Riverside. Her devastated family is now suing, claiming the now-defunct clinic was not following proper protocols.  

Loving, passionate and caring are just some of the qualities Karri Ryder remembers about her daughter and middle child Melissa Bauman.  

“Melissa, not like my other daughters, is just very dependent on me,” Ryder, fighting tears, told KTLA. “She was still like my baby.” 

The 24-year-old had struggled with addiction for a while and had recently been introduced to fentanyl.  

Her mother said her daughter didn’t want to be defined by addiction and eventually said that she was ready to seek treatment and get clean.  

Ryder said she took her daughter to Arlington Recovery Community and Sobering Center in Riverside, a facility that provided treatment for community members battling mental illness and substance abuse.  

That was on July 23, but just a few days later, Ryder received news that her daughter was found dead at the facility.  

“My life shattered,” Ryder said. “I thought 100% that was the absolute safest place for her to be, and it ended up not being safe at all.”  

Investigators with the Riverside Police Department said the county coroner determined Bauman’s cause of death was due to an accidental overdose on fentanyl.  

With the help of their lawyer, the 24-year-old’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against Riverside County and MFI Recovery, the company the county contracted to run the center, also known as the ARC.  

Among the allegations, the family’s attorney, Elan Zektser, says MFI staff fabricated logs to show they were checking on the 24-year-old every half hour.  

“MFI’s sole job is to make sure that Melissa’s okay while she’s getting sober,” Zektser told KTLA. “I can say that there are multiple instances where they’re claiming to have gone and checked on Melissa just hours ago were lies. They didn’t go.” 

Months after Bauman’s death, on Dec. 8, Riverside County terminated its contract with MFI.  

A spokesperson for the county said that a licensure check by the state’s department of health care services resulted in the ARC’s residential facility and MFI Recovery being cited for deficiencies. Their provisional license was also revoked.  

It’s still unclear if Bauman’s death is what led to the center’s closure, but her mother says she will keep fighting.  

“I want justice for my daughter,” said Ryder. “She deserved the treatment they allegedly offered. She deserved to be checked on every 30 minutes.”