On October 29, 2019, Lake County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested Earl L. Epps, 41, of the 3500 block of Kehm Boulevard, Park City, for drug induced homicide following an investigation into the death of Tara Garcia, 47, of the 37000 block of Route 83, Unincorporated Lake Villa.
On October 4, 2019, at approximately 6:45PM, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 37000 block of Route 83, Unincorporated Lake Villa, for an opioid overdose. Garcia was overdosing and transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where she was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving.
A thorough investigation revealed shortly before overdosing, Garcia purchased what she believed was heroin from Epps. Evidence recovered at the scene showed she purchased a substance containing a combination of heroin and fentanyl. After ingesting the substance Garcia suffered an overdose, which led her to go unconscious.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Garcia. The autopsy revealed she ingested fentanyl.
Epps was taken into custody without incident by the Lake County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Group. The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved the following charges:
Drug induced homicide (class X felony)
Unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (class 2 felony)
Witness intimidation (class 3 felony)
Sheriff John Idleburg said, “We again see the tragic effects of the opioid crisis we’re fighting here in Lake County and at a national level. There is no doubt addiction is a disease, and we continue to do everything we can for those suffering addictions, while holding drug pushers accountable.”
Epps remains held at the Lake County Jail on $1,000,000.00 bail. He is next due in court on November 4, 2019, at 9:00AM in courtroom T110.
All suspects are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.