PENDLETON — Ryker Pelles was the friend who would buy dinner with the last few dollars in his wallet. He was kind to animals and brought several homes with him throughout his life to join his family. He was a beloved grandson, nephew, son, brother.

But Ryker also struggled to take care of himself throughout his life and suffered from bouts of loneliness, depression and self-harm. He became addicted to narcotics, and his life spun out of control.







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Tami Pelles reflects in her living room Jan. 5, 2023, on her son Ryker’s addictions and mental health at her North Hill home Pendleton. “The truth was he did not like himself, he just didn’t, but he loved everybody else, he was very emotional,” she said. “He just wanted to take care of people, but he couldn’t take care of himself.”



Troubles mount







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Tami Pelles reminisces Jan. 5, 2023, through the pages of her family photo album inside her home in Pendleton. Her son Ryker, who died from a drug overdose, is in the photo with his brother after they surprised their mother with a gift on Mother’s Day.



Frustrations with the system







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Tami Pelles takes a moment for herself Jan. 5, 2023, after looking through the old photos of her son Ryker in her living room home in Pendleton. Ryker Pelles, 26, died June 3, 2022, from a mix of drug amphetamine and alcohol.









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Ryker Pelles in June 2021, shortly after he started a job at Blue Mountain Lumber Products, Pendleton. He died June 2, 2022, at his home in Pendleton from an overdose of drugs and alcohol. He was 26.




Framework needs to change







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An old photo of Ryker Pelles stands in front of his urn Jan. 5, 2023, inside his parent’s living room in Pendleton. This photo was on display at his funeral service. Pelles, 26, died June 3, 2022, of a drug and alcohol overdose.





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