Man faces sex abuse, drug-induced homicide charges in Glenbard South student's death
A 36-year-old Downers Grove man is being held on $1 million bail in connection with the May methadone overdose death and sexual abuse of a 15-year-old female Glenbard South High School student.
Francis Emanuele of the 6000 block of Carpenter Street is charged with drug-induced homicide, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, aggravated criminal sex abuse of a child, grooming and three counts of possessing child pornography. Authorities said he was taken into custody without incident Tuesday night on a warrant.
The victim was a foreign exchange student from Spain living with a family in Glen Ellyn.
Authorities said the victim told her host parents she felt too ill to attend school on May 3 and returned to her bedroom. Early that evening she was found unresponsive and not breathing in her bed.
The girl's host parents immediately called Glen Ellyn police who led the investigation into her death.
Authorities said police searching the girl's bedroom found an oral syringe with a small amount of a clear liquid and a prescription bottle with a small amount of clear liquid that later was determined to be methadone.
Prosecutors said half the label of the prescription bottle had been removed and the missing part later was found in Emanuele's car. Emanuele had a valid prescription for the drug.
Authorities say Emanuele not only supplied the girl with the drug, but also taught her how to ingest it.
Prosecutors said the teen's phone contained more than 1,000 text messages, including nude photos and suggestive messages sent between Emanuele and the teen. They said Emanuele had lewd pictures of the girl.
The girl apparently met Emanuele because she was friends with another foreign exchange student who was living with Emanuele and his family.
Prosecutors said surveillance cameras captured several instances of Emanuele picking the girl up from school. In addition, they said his cellphone records place him at Glenbard South at the times and days he was seen picking the girl up from school.
"This is a heartbreaking case of a young girl who came to the United States to broaden her horizons and further her education," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a written statement. "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."
"There are no words to adequately comfort these families in light of this senseless tragedy," Glen Ellyn police Chief Philip Norton said. "However, it is my hope that a successful prosecution will ensure that no other families are victimized by this man in the future."
Emanuele's next court date is scheduled for Nov. 7 in front of Judge Liam Brennan.