Downers Grove man charged in overdose death of 15-year-old girl

- A west suburban man has been charged with giving a 15-year-old foreign exchange student whom he was in a relationship with a fatal dose of methadone earlier this year.

Francis Emanuele, 36, was charged with drug-induced homicide, manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, indecent solicitation of a child, grooming, and three counts of possession of child pornography, all felonies, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

On May 2, 2016, the 15-year-old girl from Spain informed her host parents that she did not feel well enough to attend school that day, and returned to her bedroom at their Glen Ellyn home, according to prosecutors.

About 6:40 p.m., she was found unresponsive and not breathing in her bed, prosecutors said. In her bedroom, police found an oral syringe and prescription bottle with a small amount of clear liquid, which was later identified as methadone.

Emanuele, who was introduced to the girl through another foreign exchange student who was living with his family, supplied her with the drug and taught her how to ingest it, prosecutors said. He also had lewd photographs of the teen.

“This is a heartbreaking case of a young girl who came to the United States to broaden her horizons and further her education,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said.

“Tragically, she never got that chance. What she did get, allegedly from Mr. Emanuele, was a fatal dose of methadone and instructions on how to use it. I offer my sincerest condolences to this young girl’s family and friends, as well as to the entire community as they come to terms with this horrible loss,” he said.

Emanuele, of the 6100 block of Carpenter Street in Downers Grove, was arrested Tuesday afternoon, according to the state’s attorney’s office. His bond was set at $1 million.

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