Alicia Clarke called 911 in a panic. “She’s not moving,” Clarke told an operator of the woman lying on a massage table. “She’s hard. She’s hard and cold.”
The dead woman on the table would have troubled even a legitimate medical professional. But Clarke and her business partner Denise “Wee Wee” Ross were not accredited doctors. Instead, prosecutors allege, the pair ran a black market salon out of a Dallas warehouse, where they offered butt enlargement procedures—which usually cost upwards of $7,000 according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery—for as little as $300. But instead of working with doctor-approved materials, the pair allegedly pumped clients with industrial-grade silicone.
On February 18, 2015, one of the injections turned lethal, prosecutors claimed in opening statements at Ross’s murder trial on Tuesday. That evening, 34-year-old mother and nursing home worker Wykesha Reid arrived at the unlicensed salon for its signature product, known as the “Wee Wee Booty,” named after Ross. The following morning, Clarke called 911 to report Reid lying immobile and cold on a massage table.
Ross and Clarke’s salon wasn’t listed online or in any phone book, prosecutor Summer Elmazi alleged Tuesday. Instead, the pair allegedly attracted customers by word of mouth. Prospective clients would book treatments by phone, and would not receive the salon’s address until the day of their appointment, Elmazi said.
An affidavit from Ross and Clarke’s March 2015 arrest alleges a garish scene inside their operating room. Just days before Reid’s death, the pair had allegedly given a different woman butt injections. Despite paying $520 for the procedure, the unnamed woman had serious concerns about Ross and Clarke’s qualifications, she told police. When she asked the women what they were injecting in her, the pair allegedly gave vague answers, telling the woman they were using a water-based saline.
But Ross and Clarke were using a far more deadly substance, prosecutors said.
“She never one single time ever told them she was injecting industrial-grade silicone into these women’s bodies,” Elmazi testified, according to the Dallas News.
The pair allegedly ran operated the salon for at least three years, charging between $300 and $1,000 for the dangerous shots. James Ames, an attorney representing Reid’s family in a separate civil suit said his legal team has seen evidence suggesting the underground salon ran even longer, and that Ross and Clarke may have had other business partners who are still on the loose.
"There's definitely evidence suggesting that this was happening for six, seven years,” Ames told The Daily Beast. “We want to find out if there were other people involved and what role they played. We want to know who knew what when, and if there was a financial incentive for them."
When Ross and Clarke they injected the unnamed woman nine days before Reid’s death, the woman complained of pain. “During the procedure [the woman] felt intense pain and was told to be quiet after screaming in agony,” the affidavit reads. The woman told police she was sent home with superglue and cotton balls to seal her injection sites.
Nine days later, Reid checked into the makeshift salon for an appointment. Reid, 34, had visited several times before, and always left with cotton balls glued to her puncture wounds, her daughter testified Tuesday.
“She never felt it made her beautiful or pretty,” Reid’s daughter testified. “It was just the fact that it was something she wanted. Outer beauty.”
But on this visit two years ago, something went wrong. In a separate civil lawsuit, Reid’s family details what they believe happened once the injections entered her body.
“She began having a seizure and ultimately died from pulmonary silicone embolization as the silicone traveled through her heart and became lodged in Ms. Reid’s lungs,” reads the civil suit by Reid’s family. “Essentially, Ms. Reid suffocated slowly as silicone prevented the lungs from working properly.”
But rather than call for an ambulance, Ross and Clarke fled the scene, leaving Reid on their operating table overnight, Reid’s family and prosecutors allege.
“They left Wykesha Reid’s body on that massage table,” Elmazi testified Tuesday. “They left her there like a piece of garbage.”
The next morning, Clarke finally called 911. “She’s not moving,” Clarke can be heard saying on the recorded call, which was played in court on Tuesday. “She’s hard. She’s hard and cold.”
Sobbing, Clarke is heard telling the operator that Reid had felt sick after her injections, and laid down on the table to rest. In the call, Clarke claims to have only found Reid dead the next morning. When police arrived on the scene, they found Reid dead on a table, in what was clearly a makeshift salon, said Officer Jay Angelino, who responded to Clarke’s call.
“There was no towels. There was no product,” Angelino testified Tuesday. “There was no garbage can.” The warehouse space was mostly empty.
Elmazi doubled down on these claims, alleging that Ross and Clarke failed to follow basic sanitary procedures in their unlicensed salon, such as disinfecting the massage table where they performed injections or cleaning clients’ skin before sticking them with syringes.
In opening statements, Ross’s attorney called Reid’s death a “tragic, tragic, tragic accident,” but downplayed Ross’s role, accusing Clarke of administering the fatal injections. But Elmazi claimed both women had injected Reid with the fatal formula. In the pair’s arrest affidavits, the unnamed woman also accuses both women of administering injections.
Both women are charged with murder and practicing medicine without a license.