Wheeling man charged in wife's hot tub death; police say he closed lid on her

A Saturday afternoon of drinking in a hot tub for a married Wheeling couple ended with the wife dead and her husband charged in her killing, police said Tuesday.

Eric Huska, 58, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife, Laura Huska, who was found unresponsive Saturday evening in the couple's backyard hot tub, according to Wheeling police.

Investigators later discovered footage from a home security camera that showed the couple had been drinking in the hot tub for some time when Laura Huska, 57, tried unsuccessfully to get out, police said. The video shows Eric Huska at first helping his wife but then closing the tub's lid over her and walking into the house, police said.

“For whatever reason he put the cover over her head,” Deputy Chief Todd Wolff said. “We are sure alcohol was a major factor.”

Wolff said the video shows Laura initially struggling against the cover before eventually stopping. The video shows Eric Huska returning to the tub about 90 minutes later, opening the lid and finding his wife floating in the water, police said.

Eric Huska called 911 about 6:45 p.m. and emergency personnel rushed to the home, but they were unable to revive Laura Husk, police said. She was taken to Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview and pronounced dead, authorities say.

The Cook County medical examiner's office determined she died by drowning by entrapment, Wolff said.

Police had no previous contact with the couple and say Eric Huska has no prior criminal history.

Huska appeared in court Tuesday, when a judge set bail at $10,000. It was not immediately known if he posted the $1,000 needed to go free.

If convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge, he could face three to 14 years in prison, according to state statute.

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