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OAK PARK, Ill. (STMW) – A 17-year-old Wisconsin girl who’d connected via the Internet with an Oak Park man offering a place to stay was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose early Tuesday.
Oak Park police are still investigating if foul play was involved.
Police and paramedics responded to a call at 5:17 a.m. of a young female unconscious and not breathing in the 800 block of Lake St.
Emergency responders were called to the building at 5:17 a.m., where they found her unconscious and unresponsive in a third floor hallway of the building. She was transported to Rush Oak Park Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:40 a.m.
Oak Park Police Detective Cmdr. Ladon Reynolds said the girl had been traveling throughout the country for about three weeks and was headed home to Sheboygan when she stopped in Chicago. She arrived by Greyhound bus downtown about 8:30 p.m., where she was picked up by a 22-year-old man she’d contacted via the Internet.
The man, who called police was questioned and released, though Reynolds said they are still investigating the circumstances of the death. At the time of the police response, a dispatcher cautioned arriving officers that “the caller is not being very cooperative.”
Reynolds said the man had been removed from his apartment in September, but had managed to reenter it without authorization.
Reynolds said police are still investigating whether the man provided the girl with heroin. He said there was not indication she had brought any drugs with her in her belongings.
“It appeared to be a heroin overdose,” he said. “We’re still investigation, pending a toxicology report.”
Friday morning Oak Park Chief of Police Rick Tanksley expressed disgust at the circumstances surrounding the girl’s death.
“She arrives here Monday night, and eight hours later she’s dead,” he said.
Tanksley also voiced frustration at the chronic problems associated with the building. Asked if police had contacted the buildings owners regarding the latest incident, he replied, “We will be.”
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