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Man charged with drug-induced homicide, witnesses intimidation in death of Lake Villa woman

Earl L. Epps, 41, of Park City.

A Park City man is being held on a $1 million bond after being charged with drug-induced homicide and witness intimidation in connection with the overdose death of a Lake Villa woman.

Earl L. Epps, 41, of the 3500 block of Kehm Boulevard in Park City, was taken into custody Tuesday on felony charges of drug-induced homicide, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and witness intimidation.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 6:45 p.m. October 4 to a residence in the 37000 block of Route 83 in unincorporated Lake Villa for an opioid overdose.

Tara Garcia, 47, who lived at the home, was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.

“A thorough investigation revealed shortly before overdosing, Garcia purchased what she believed was heroin from Epps,” Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Garcia which showed she actually ingested a substance containing heroin and fentanyl.

Epps was taken into custody without incident by the Lake County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Group and charges were approved by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“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,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.

Epps remains held at the Lake County Jail on a $1 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on November 4.


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