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Crime & Courts

Downers Grove man pleads guilty to Glen Ellyn exchange student's death

Francis Emanuele, 38, of the 6100 block of Carpenter Street, Downers Grove
Francis Emanuele, 38, of the 6100 block of Carpenter Street, Downers Grove

DOWNERS GROVE – A Downers Grove man pleaded guilty Nov. 5 to supplying a fatal dose of methadone to a 15-year-old foreign exchange student from Spain, according to a news release from the DuPage County State’s Attorney's Office.

Francis Emanuele, 38, of the 6100 block of Carpenter Street, appeared in DuPage County Court before Judge Liam Brennan, where he pleaded guilty to drug-induced homicide, a Class X felony, and indecent solicitation of a child – aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 3 felony, the release stated.

On May 3, 2016, the victim informed her host parents, who live in Glen Ellyn, that she did not feel well enough to attend school that day and returned to her bedroom. At about 6:40 p.m, she was found unresponsive and not breathing in her bed, according to the release.

The host parents contacted the Glen Ellyn Police Department, who led an investigation into the girl’s death.

Investigators found an oral syringe In the girl’s bedroom that contained a small amount of a clear liquid and a prescription bottle that contained a small amount of clear liquid. Lab tests identified the clear liquid as methadone, the release stated.

The investigation ultimately led authorities to Emanuele as the person who not only supplied the fatal drug but also instructed the girl on how to ingest it, according to the release. The victim was introduced to Emanuele through another foreign exchange student who was living with Emanuele and his family, the release stated.

A $1 million arrest warrant was issued for Emanuele on Oct. 25, 2016. The following day, Emanuele appeared in bond court where bond was set at $1 million, according to the release. On Nov. 2, 2016, Emanuele posted $100,000 bond, and he was released from custody.

Emanuele is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 17 for a pre-sentence report. He faces between eight and 35 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, the release stated.

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