202-905-8885 deasbf@deasbf.org
DEA Survivors Benefit Fund

Ms. Martha D. Skeels, a supervisory clerk-typist at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Miami Regional Office, died on August 5, 1974, as a result of the collapse of the Miami Regional Office building. She was 50 years of age at the time of her death. Ms. Skeels began working for the Miami Regional Office of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) in November 1972 as a supervisory word processor. Prior to joining BNDD, she was an accountant at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Montrose, New York, for two years; a contract accountant with the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C., for fourteen years; and a secretary with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Coral Gables, Florida, for two years. She attended Duke University and the University of Virginia. Ms. Skeels and six of her co-workers died in the collapse, which occurred at 10:25 a.m. Following the collapse, investigators concluded that poor building materials were to blame for the tragedy.

The Survivors Benefit Fund is not part of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) but, instead, is a private 501(c)(3) organization that supports the families of DEA agents, employees, and task force officers who gave their lives in the line-of-duty. Neither the DOJ nor DEA approves, endorses, or authorizes the Survivors Benefit Fund, its materials, or its fundraising efforts.