Two Relatives Charged In Round Lake Park Mom’s Death

UPDATED: May 12, 2011, 7:30 p.m.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) — The sister- and brother-in-law of a Round Lake Park woman, who overdosed April 15 and was the subject of a 10-day search, were charged

Thursday in connection with her death and the concealment of her body.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

The Waukegan couple, 33-year-old Sherry Best and her 37-year-old husband Charles were arrested pursuant to a warrant carrying a $1 million bond, said Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko.

Citing newly-completed toxicology tests and information the two have provided, Filenko says 34-year-old Melissa Best injected herself in the arm with heroin and died almost immediately in the efficiency apartment Sherry and Charles Best rented at the Crosslands Motel, on Illinois 41, in Waukegan.

melissa best Two Relatives Charged In Round Lake Park Moms Death

Missing Round Lake woman Melissa Best

But instead of making an immediate call to 911 to seek assistance, Sherry Best did nothing initially, Filenko said, eliminating any chance that her sister could be revived.

“Ten to 15 minutes is not too late,” Filenko said, drawing upon experience in other drug overdose cases.  “There are drugs, ‘anti’ drugs, that can be injected almost immediately and literally bring someone back from the dead.”

Instead, the first to try to render assistance to Melissa Best was her brother-in-law, who tried CPR unsuccessfully when he arrived at the apartment 20 minutes to 30 minutes later.

By that time, Filenko said, it was too late.

Filenko said that Sherry Best also admitted to using heroin that day.

Charles and Sherry Best soon decided to move the body and make it appear that she died elsewhere, Filenko said, for two reasons.  He said Charles Best was on parole and feared he would be found in violation and jailed. And Filenko said the couple’s two children were already in DCFS custody and they feared that they would lose custody permanently.

Filenko said Charles Best was the first to admit to moving the body. 

He allegedly told police that together, he and his wife carried Melissa’s body to her van and hid it in the back.

Charles Best allegedly said that he then drove the van to a Grayslake parking lot, where it was discovered 10 days later.

Melissa Best was reported missing on April 16 by her husband Clinton, who issued a statement through the police department.

“At no time did I ever see any signs or evidence that Melissa had any kind of addiction to any kinds of drugs,” he said, although he added she would occasionally abuse alcohol.

Filenko said Clinton and Charles Best worked side-by-side at a Waukegan business and said he found it especially appalling that Charles Best said nothing to his brother about Melissa’s death while the search continued.

Once the body was found, Filenko said police concluded “in a day or two” what had probably happened, but did not immediately tell Clinton Best, hoping Charles or Sherry would come forward.

“(Clinton) was extremely upset. He was distraught,” Filenko said, when police told him what had happened.  “He was very devastated.”

Clinton Best urged no mercy for his brother and sister-in-law. 

“To allow someone to die, and then hide them to the point where they cannot be found for 10 days, causing us to have worry about what has happened to them, shows just how heartless and cowardly these people are,” he said in the statement.

Sherry Best is charged with causing a drug-induced homicide, because she supplied the drugs; if convicted, she could face 15 to 30 years in prison. 

Both Sherry and Charles Best are charged with concealment.

  • Henry

    Who the hell came up with the law, drug induced homicide? Everyone is responsible for their own actions. I doubt anyone forced her to get high.

    • just saying 2

      just sayin 2
      drug induced homicide ???
      Henry , unless you were there you don’t know what happen . I wasn’t there either but no where in this story does it say forced to do drugs . Then why didn’t they call the cops the next day and say something like” we were drinking and she brought the drugs and she OD on her own drugs ” insted they ( family menbers) deside to dump her somewhre else .
      Here another example , You are playing russian roulette and the gun fires on the person next to you . What do you do call the cops or get rid of the body ?? You my friend just killed someone whether you report it now or the cops find the body later you are as guilty as the person playing the game . You didn’t pull the triger and sure you are inocent ( inocent of beiing stuped for playing the game ). Game Over

      • Bill T.

        I think I saw this episode.

    • just sayin 2

      drug induced homicide ???

      Henry , unless you were there you don’t know what happen . I wasn’t there either but no where in this story does it say forced to do drugs . Then why didn’t they call the cops the next day and say something like” we were drinking and she brought the drugs and she OD on her own drugs ” insted they ( family menbers) deside to dump her somewhre else .

      Here another example , You are playing russian roulette and the gun fires on the person next to you . What do you do call the cops or get rid of the body ?? You my friend just killed someone whether you report it now or the cops find the body later you are as guilty as the person playing the game . You didn’t pull the triger and sure you are inocent ( inocent of beiing stuped for playing the game ). Game Over

    • viggy

      Melissa did NOT use drugs. Period – and neither did Natalee Holloway.

      • viggy

        Thanks Kathie for calling it. Sarah, what are you Idiot? What do you live in the land of munchkins or something. DA I went to her memorial service. Melissa didn’t do drugs. Have some compassion for her husband and the kids.

      • Carrie

        The report said, she injected herself, and died immediately after. I heard it on WBBM. She was a major heroin junkie.

      • Kathie

        Sarah are you some kind of an idiot? What a dumb comment. children will grow up without their mother. That is the fact , not whether or not she had a drug problem. Whic she did not, you can tell by a persons skin and facial expressions and she had neither of those. So unless you personally know her shut the hell up. you only make yourself sound stupid.

      • Sarah

        @viggy, It’s possible the hot dog with a poppy seed bun was the cause of the opiates in her system. What the hell does Holloway have to do with this woman’s heroin problem?

    • just sayin

      Henry ,

      It was not the fact that she died using drugs its the fact that they dumped her body and not report it .

      Example some one dies in your house for whatever reason and you deside not to tell anyone and people are looking for this person . You just comited a crime you consealed a death .

      • Henry

        Concealing a death is one thing, but nobody forced her to get high.

  • Bill Stearns

    If a bartender serves you a drink & you get in a fatal accident, the bartender can be liable.
    The people responsible for her getting drugs are just that, RESPONSIBLE.

    • Jake

      They are resposible for supplying a consumer with a product, but not at all guilty of her stupid decision to use them. This is a stupid unfair law, just like the one concerning a bartender.

      • Jim

        I never understood the bartender law. Why stop there? I would prefer to sue the state for giving the establishment a liquor licence. We obviously can’t blame the person that purchased the drink because we are a society of no accountability.

  • Gregg

    People need to learn to use their heroin in moderation.

  • FR

    If drugs were legal & regulated, labels would have accurate strength on them as well as dosages not to be exceeded. Most drug deaths are because the strength or contamination is unknown. Legalizing and regulating and TAXING would help everything.

  • A grown adult woman in her 30's

    I agree with everyone! Noone forced her to drive all the way out to a Motel in Waukegan to “party” Noone forced her to do drugs and or drink either! She was a grown woman and made poor choices! Now, for hiding her death/body, that’s not suprising being they were probably “partying people” or “party suppliers” and of course they don’t want to get caught! But, the only thing I think the people she “partied” with should be charged with is the concealing of her death/body!

    • viggy

      Holloway..ingested drugs put in her drink
      Melissa..ingested drugs coroner said
      Holloway..body was hidden
      Melissa..body was hidden
      Holloway..Aruba didn’t care
      Melissa..we cared

    • Tina

      This Best lady seems to have been a heavy heroin user. Holloway is old news and has no relation to this story.

  • Lavette

    That’s all we need, a bunch of high people to deal with on a daily basis, in the grocery store, in restaurants, at gas stations etc. People who are not under the influence are already a Handful in this world. We don’t need people running around with paranoia “brain” impairments. Regular everyday Sober individuals can be difficult enough. Scratch the legalization theory, Please.
    signed: Very Concerned.

    • D. R. Smith

      We already have drugged/intoxicated people to deal with on a daily basis. Physicians and pain management specialists prescribe intoxicating doses of drugs to people every day. The drugs have labels and fact sheets so that the consumer knows what they are taking, and what effects it might cause. They warn that there are certain activities that may produce unwanted effects if mixed with the ingestion of the drug. That make it our responsibility to adhere to the warnings to protect ourselves and others. The point that making the drugs legal and thus allowing qualty control and ensuring safety are valid, but I feel that under no instance should narcotics, or addictive substances be made readily available to the public. People with addictive tendancies would not have a chance, at least if it’s administered by a physician you have a measure of control. Even if it is made legal to prescribe and purchase drugs such as cocaine, herion or marijuana, there is no guarantee that it would be completely controlled. Look at the recent news concerning a Pain Management doctor being tried for negligence.

  • viggy

    Yes, someone could in fact force her to do drugs without her’s called putting something in her drink. She DIDN’T do srugs. I suppose natalee Holloway used drugs then too

    • Laura

      I don’t get the reference to Holloway. They never found her body. It has nothing to do with this lady’s heroin problem.

  • land ldy

    I am with Viggy..ever hear of ‘date rape drugs’-ever hear of ‘spiked drinks’ ever hear of visiting your brother in law with out fear ?? Melissa did NOT do drugs..!~!
    Lavette..check 1/2 the peope you see in a day..driving- shopping-walking..on some kind of drug..ALL drugs have reactions-legal or you ever watch the news ?? Again..Melissa did not have a heroin problem..but you folks have the habit of judging things you know ZERO about -why are you typing your poison here ?? it is heroin for my ear..pushers everywhere….

    • Bob

      Heroin is either shot up, smoked, or snorted. It isn’t ingested like the date sex drug. You people need to realize, most drug addicts aren’t proud of it and it doesn’t surprise me, you were all unaware of her problem. Toxicology tests don’t lie.

      • Nicole

        I agree with Bob somewhat. I don’t know much about heroin, but it’a a possibility that she had a drug problem and hid it well , or perhaps was trying it for the first time. No disrepect to her loved ones, people tend to pass judgement when they hear news stories because the facts are never completely accurate. In the end, her husband is going to have to raise their children alone, all while his own family members participated in her death. er children are going to have to grow up without their mother, with the shame and humiliation that everyone in their community is aware of their mother’s overdose, which to me, is a private matter. I hope that her brother-in-law & sister-in-law are punished to the fullest extent of the law – their own children are in DCFS custody – do you think they care about their nieces/nephews not having their mother? My prayers are with Melissa Best’s family & friends as they suffer this sensless tradgedy.

        As for those making rude comments – no matter what the situation is or how Melissa Best lost her life – show some respect for her loved ones. You never know when you will be faced with a tradgedy.

  • Mz.Jazzie85

    What is wrong with YOU people? A person is dead and all ya’ll can do is talk negative about her. Why are any of you judging? Have some respect, common sense. Ugh!

  • land ldy don’t know how herion is used..why do you ??? Listen carefully..Melissa did NOT have a drug problem..not until her trusted sister in law gave her a ‘hand’..I don’t know HOW she got it in her..but my sourses say in a drink..Now..maybe you can at least feel sad for her husband, children and father and friends..we have to deal with a loss AND with you narrow minded know it alls…Get a hobby that doesn’t interfer with other lives..try Hobby Lobby..
    Get a life…

    • Bob

      I am so very sorry about your loved one’s severe heroin problem. Look it up, you don’t drink heroin. Reports say, she injected herself. Please, get your ass to Hobby Lobby and prepare to accept reality. She was a junkie !

      • viggy

        Reports say..NO, the JUNKIE sister in law says..have you ever known a Junkie that told the truth?

      • viggy

        Coroner said it was in her stomach..ingestion my friend. Melissa did not do drugs. Oh ya, forgot why so many are ready to jump at all the negative and be quick to judge. It’s how some of us are wired – my mistake; those calling her a junkie are being unfair and I guess you have some kind of authority to do that. I went to her memorial service and her husband and kids are all torn up..why don’t you at least say a prayer for the family. I guess you wouldn’t you are so busy judging.

      • LaTonya Horton Stewart

        That is so rude… have some respect for the dead and those in mourning. Karma is a B!&ch and I hope you never have to eat your own words. I’m leaving this thread because its some real hateful, ignorant @$$ people one here. Yeah, I said it… that’s my government name and picture.

  • Point Blank

    Point Blank…Regardless of the situation my heart goes to the family during this ordeal…they have to deal with the loss and tryiing to bear arms around why their own family would hide her death….I can’t even imagine what they are going through!!!!!!

    Theses poor kids!! To have this in the media like this is got to be tearing them up inside!

  • dan

    Maybe if she had a job and went to work she would not have been at a hotel in Waukegan. She would have come home at 4 or 5 earning a minimum of approx $64 instead of winding up dead

    • viggy

      She had a job; she was a flippin respect..Talk like this do ya..ever heard of Karma?

  • LaTonya Horton Stewart

    I totally agree with you. I think the police were out of line in the news conference. All the public needed to know was there wasn’t a murderer on the loose. She has children and the way she died is no one’s business. Now you all are trashing her on the internet. I am praying for her family’s peace, especially her children. I hope her husband sues the media and police department for slander.

  • Relatives Due In Court In Death Of Round Lake Park Mom « CBS Chicago

    […] They are charged with concealing the death of Melissa Ann Best, 34. […]

  • SSG ED

    To all who Do Not Know Melissa. She was going to school for Medical Transcription. Chuck & Sheri are known abusers. There is nothing wrong with visiting your sister in law. Melissa was an out standing mother she did fight depression and had good days and bad. I know this because I am her Father in law. Sherri the best part of her ran down her mothers leg. If any on want s to mess with me I am a green beret come on.

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