PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — When Cheryl Miller learned her 25-year-old son Dylan Garland had been injured and rushed to the hospital, she immediately booked a flight. She wanted to be at his side. Miller lives in Maryland, so when she initially got the call from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, she didn’t know what to make of it.
“I didn’t know, it said it was the sheriff’s department, but in my area there are a lot of scams, so I didn’t, I wasn’t believing that. I didn’t recognize the area,” said Miller.
Detectives informed Miller that her son had somehow been injured. They couldn’t say how. His body was found near the intersection of U.S. Highway 301 and Globe Road north of Dade City in Pasco County. He had sustained life-threatening injuries and was flown to Lakeland Regional Hospital.
A spokeswoman with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office tells News Channel 8 that Garland is on life-support, but clinically dead. He’s being kept alive in order for his organs to be harvested, spokeswoman Melanie Snow said. Nothing suggests a homicide, but the investigation continues and there hasn’t been a conclusion by the Medical Examiner’s Office, Snow said.
The last place Garland was seen was the Lighthouse Bar in Hernando County.
Beth Moore was bartending on Friday night and says it was the victim’s first time at the small neighborhood watering hole.
She remembers him as being quiet and polite. “He was very nice, yes ma’am, no ma’am. Genuine,” said Moore, who adds she was devastated when she learned he was critically injured just hours after leaving the bar. “Heartbreaking. Totally heartbreaking. Unbelievable. I don’t understand how people can be so heartless.”
When Miller arrived at Lakeland Regional, she felt hopeful. “There’s always hope. You’re always looking for the chance. The hospital was saying that it didn’t look good—the prognosis wasn’t good but that was all they were telling me,” said Miller. And as time passed, hope faded. Just after 2 p.m. on Sunday, her son was pronounced dead.
Now, Miller is finding comfort in knowing he was an organ donor, and even in death, parts of him will live on.
“Knowing that parts of my son still will be walking around and being able to live and maybe have children of their own and I hope they hug them and love them and cherish every moment,” cried the mother, who still is begging for answers.
Even if what caused Dylan’s injuries was an accident, she believes someone knows something.
“I don’t know how it happened, but if anybody does, I’m really hoping that any information that somebody thinks they may have even if they don’t think it will mean anything…that they will come forward and say something. ”
If you have any information that might help detectives in this investigaiton, you can call the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Crime Tips Line at 1-800-706-2488.
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