HOPATCONG Borough police have concluded there was nothing suspicious about how Cher’s longtime backup singer died in her Oakwood Road home three months ago.
Patty Darcy-Jones, 54, who was a lively part of the pop icon’s performances for 18 years, had lived in Hopatcong since 1992.
Her husband, Courtney Jones, said he found her unconscious on the floor when he came in from another room on June 16. He called police, who protected the home for two days.
“We investigated it as a worst-case scenario,” Hopatcong Police Lt. Michael Siciliano said. “After it was all said and done, there was nothing criminal about her death.”
It took weeks to await the result of toxicology tests, and authorities declined to comment further on the exact cause of death.
Police and the Sussex County Medical Examiner’s Office referred further questions to county Prosecutor David Weaver, who said the investigation was still open at his office, but should be finalized soon.
Courtney Jones said he still did not know the exact cause of his wife’s death and was “chagrined” and “disappointed” by the length of the medical examination.
Jones, an audio technician, met Patty on one of Cher’s tours in 1989. He used to engage Patty in casual conversation as the sound crew set up, which “snowballed itself into more of a relationship,” he said.
In the past few months, Jones said he has been touched by the outpouring of love and support from Cher fans.
“I’ve just been amazed,” he said of his wife’s popularity. “In the rock n’ roll business, you never know exactly how many people know you.”
Both Cher and Bette Midler reached out to Jones in the week after his wife’s death, he said.
“They both loved Patty and just loved working with her,” he said. “She made it fun, but also threw in a lot of great ideas about how songs and harmonies could be done.”
Cher has not commented publicly on Darcy-Jones’ death. But Jones’ noted that is not uncommon, since Cher seems to balance her private and public lives.
Darcy-Jones’ brother, Eugene Darcy Jr., of Landing, said the outpouring of support “just doesn’t end.”
“I’m just still running into people who knew her,” he said.
The family, he said, had a local ceremony and a dedication at the Mason Street Pub, where Patty used to sing.
“I still can’t believe it. I miss her so much,” he said. “Everything I do, something pops up in my head about her.”
Darcy-Jones’ death hit Cher’s fan base hard, prompting lengthy Web discussions and artwork dedicated to her memory.
“It’s almost like a family member (had died), to tell the truth,” Clayton Chenevert, 44, of Livonia, La., said by phone on Monday. “It’s amazing how people feel very close to her.”
Asked why she went to such lengths, Cox said: “I miss her.”
Fans have wondered aloud why Cher has not commented on Darcy-Jones’ death, but suspect she will include a nod to her colleague and friend on an upcoming release.
“We’re kind of hoping she dedicates that album to Patty,” Chenevert said.
A message to Cher’s spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, was not returned Monday.
Chenevert said fans appreciated the lively performances put in by Darcy-Jones, who seemed “very much in love” with her husband and way of life in New Jersey.
“Her being so young, and seeing the energy this lady had, it really touches home,” Chenevert said.
Darcy-Jones graduated from West Orange Mountain High School in 1970 and lived in New York City and Los Angeles prior to Hopatcong, according to her obituary.
In addition to her work with Cher, Darcy-Jones performed on Broadway in “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” for five years and performed backup vocals for Darlene Love and Bette Midler.
Cox and other fans noted rumors that Cher will announce performances in Las Vegas during the coming months.
“It’s just going to be really strange without Patty there,” Cox said.
From New Jersey Herald