Investigators in Madison County are searching for a man they believe may have provided drugs to a woman who later died of a heroin overdose. The Illinois resident died in her Maryville home in early January. Court records indicate that police responded to a call and found the 48-year-old woman unconscious in her living room. There was drug paraphernalia nearby, including a spoon, needle and syringe. No charges have been filed as police continue to investigate what they believe to be a serious drug crime.

This case is unique because the man that police are looking for is thought to have purchased heroin in a bordering state before returning to Illinois. Illinois law allows a person believed to have delivered a fatal dose of heroin to be charged with drug induced homicide. However, a recent ruling interprets the law to require that the delivery of the drug must have taken place within the state of Illinois in order for an Illinois court to have jurisdiction, an issue we covered in a recent blog entry (Drug Charge Claims: Homicide dismissed over jurisdictional issues, May 26).

In this case, police are looking for a man who is suspected of supplying drugs to a woman the night before she overdosed. The authorities also suspect that the he injected the woman with heroin three weeks prior to her death. A search warrant has been filed asking for authorization to obtain DNA samples from the suspect. Friends and family members of the deceased told police that they had repeatedly pleaded with the suspect to stop providing drugs to their loved one.

As of yet, no charges have been filed in the case. Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fatal overdose. Under Illinois law the suspect could be charged with drug induced homicide as well as additional charges related to drug crime. However, if the drugs were obtained in a bordering state and administered in Illinois, prosecutors may have a difficult task ahead of them if the case makes its way to court.

Source: The Edwardsville Intelligencer, “Authorities search for drug supplier,” Steve Horrell, June 7, 2012