Prom was supposed to be one of the most magical events of Jacqueline Gomez’s life, but the morning after her special night, the MacArthur High School senior was found dead in a north Houston hotel room.
Houston police confirmed the presence of alcohol and prescription drugs in her Hyatt Hotel room, but it will be weeks before the autopsy’s toxicology results are revealed.
Juana Barron, Gomez’s mother, is devastated by her daughter’s death, and told KHOU Ch. 11 she was never supposed to spend the night at the Hyatt Hotel North in the first place. The hotel was the also the site of the prom, but Barron said she instructed her daughter to come home.
Her date’s mother asked over the phone if Gomez could spend the night at her home, but Barron said no. She never spoke to her daughter again.
Barron first met Gomez's prom date the night of the event when he and his mother came to the high school student’s home to pick her up. The last time she spoke to her daughter, Gomez said she was going to get something to eat, and Barron reiterated the need for her to return home that night.
Barron told KHOU that the mother of her daughter's date asked over the phone if she could spend the night at her home, but Barron said no. She never spoke to her daughter again.
The hotel room was booked in Gomez’s date’s name by his mother and police say he admitted the two of them drank alcohol that night.
A report in USA Today notes that Gomez’s date sent numerous texts to mutual friend Justice Gonzalez, after attempting to rouse her Saturday morning and finding her unresponsive. He also called 911.
Gomez’s prom date is not a suspect in her death and his name has not been released, but Gonzalez said she reached out to him after seeing pictures of him crying on his Instagram account. In a text he told the distraught mother that “they said she overdosed” and “I woke up. I tried waking her but she wouldn't. I was screaming and crying telling her to wake up. But she didn't. She didn't.”
In the midst of her grief, Barron is searching for answers.
“This is unexpected. You can never get ready for something like this,” Barron said. "I do want to know, and I want to know who’s responsible for all that. She was underage. She couldn’t get that stuff all by herself."