Demri Parrott (born Demri Lara Murphy on February 22nd 1969 – d. October 29th 1996) was the love of Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley's life.
She was born in Bremerton, Seattle (WA) to Dennis Dougherty and Kathleen Austin, and had three brothers, Devin, Derek and David. She attended at school in Arlington (Washington), and dropped at her Junior year.
Demri was passionate about many things and excelled in art and theater. She was interested in philosophy and poetry, and loved to collect vintage clothes, make decoupage, write poetry and play in front of the camera. Demri was well known and had numerous friends that she touched with her charismatic and enchanting personality. Most of her friends described her as a very sweet and beautiful person, kind, peaceful and artistic.
Rare pictures show her to be tiny, dark-featured and pretty, with long black hair and dark eyes.
It is believed that Layne met Demri sometime in the late 80's or early 1990, as she is thanked in the liner notes of “Facelift”, which was released on August 1990. They met at a store called “Saturdays” where she was working. Demri is not, as is widely believed, the woman on "Facelift" album cover (who is actress-turned-interiors designer Mariah O'Brien).
Layne Staley and Demri Parrott were, according to close friends and bandmates, described as perfect for each other and the term "soulmates" has been used more than once to define their relationship. However, in the years that followed "Dirt"'s success, Layne and Demri drifted apart. Though the two were engaged between the years of 1992-1994, the engagement broke apart sometime in '93 or '94.
Most of Layne's work on his albums after those years ("Tripod"-AIC and "Above"-Madseason) seem more miserable and self-pitying than ones preceding them. In one particular song on "Above", "Lifeless Dead", he describes of a relationship in which the man wants marriage and commitment, and the woman shies away. No one is really sure if he sung about his own problems with Demri or not. If it was an attempt to bring her back to him, it failed miserably.
Both Demri and Layne used drugs. Demri was addicted to heorin, and there are many photos showing her outside or near hospitals where she had open-heart surgeries for saving her life.
Sadly, on October 29th, 1996, aged only 27, Demri passed away from endocarditis (an inflammation of the heart) caused by heroin overdose using an unclean needle at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland (WA). Friends comment that after Demri died, Layne was put on suicide watch for 24 hours.
Demri was buried A celebration of her life was done on November 3rd at University Way. Her family asked that people, instead of flowers, made a donation to Harborview Adult Medicine Clinic in Demri's name.
There is no memorial to this woman; no one even knows who she is. She was a woman veiled in mystery and poetic silence, and yet she succeeded in breaking the spirit of one of the most talented singers of the 20th century.
In April 5th 2002, at age 34, Layne Staley joined her in Heaven.
She has been immortalized in the song "Lifeless Dead" that Layne wrote about their relationship.