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Park City man charged in overdose death

Earl L. Epps
Earl L. Epps

LAKE VILLA – A Park City man has been charged in connection with the overdose death of a Lake Villa woman, police said.

On Oct. 29, Lake County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Earl L. Epps, 41, of the 3500 block of Kehm Boulevard, Park City, in connection with a drug-induced homicide after an investigation into the death of Tara Garcia, 47, of the 37000 block of Route 83, an unincorporated area near Lake Villa, according to a news release.

About 6:45 p.m. Oct. 4, deputies were dispatched to Garcia’s home for an opioid overdose. Garcia was overdosing and taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, police said.

An investigation revealed that shortly before overdosing, Garcia bought what she believed was heroin from Epps. Evidence recovered at the scene showed she bought a substance containing a combination of heroin and fentanyl, police said. After ingesting the substance, Garcia suffered an overdose.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Garcia. The autopsy revealed she had 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 felony charges: drug-induced homicide, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and witness intimidation.

Epps is being held at the Lake County Jail on $1 million bail.

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