Parents Honor Alyssa Byrne With Volunteerism, Drug Awareness

By Jean Elle
|  Friday, Jan 3, 2014  |  Updated 10:07 AM PDT
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Parents of a Petaluma girl who died after leaving a concert with drugs in her system are raising awareness of the importance of having a buddy system. Jean Elle reports.

Parents of a Petaluma girl who died after leaving a concert with drugs in her system are raising awareness of the importance of having a buddy system. Jean Elle reports.

Photos and Videos

Body of Missing Petaluma Teen Found

The body of missing 19-year-old Alyssa Byre was found near a South Lake Tahoe snowbank on Friday. NBC Bay Area's Monte Francis reports.

Hundreds Mourn Death of Petaluma Teen

Kim Tere attended a very somber candlelight vigil Friday night for Alyssa Byrne who died while attending a New Year;s music festival in Tahoe.
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Kevin Byrne and his wife, Kim, talked to their daughter Alyssa about drugs. But all the heart-to-heart talks didn't save her.

The 19-year-old was found dead in a South Lake Tahoe snow bank with drugs in her system after leaving the Snow Globe Music Festival.

"We learned the hard way," he said. "You need to know what your kid is into."

MORE: Alyssa Byrne's Body Found Along Road

Alyssa's death sparked a year of activism for the Byrnes, starting with the Always Buddy campaign.

"It's so crucial if you're going to a new place or going to a party," Kim said. "It's crucial you go as a group and come back as a group."

At last weekend's concert, event-goers took the pledge. Volunteers set up a warming station and drove the streets picking up young people who walked away from the party just like Alyssa did.

A message about the dangers of drugs is also spreading around Petaluma, Alyssa's hometown.

Kevin said kids are reaching out to him for help. He has taken some kids to meetings and helped them talk to their parents -- time consuming work he and his wife plan to continue in honor of their daughter.

"I think right now she's looking down and she's saying it's amazing all this started," Byrne said. "Another part of her is saying why does it take something as tragic as this for this to happen."

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