Pearl man arrested for drug induced homicide

A Pearl, Ill. man is behind bars for providing heroin to a Milton woman who later died from the drug, the Pike County Sheriff's Office said.

John R. Edgar, 24, was arrested on a charge of drug-induced homicide on Oct. 31. An arrest warrant was issued for Edgar following an investigation that began Sept. 26 in to the death of Shanda M. Lopez, 47, of Milton. She was pronounced dead at her home that day.

Investigators believe Lopez died as a result of opiate intoxication.

Investigators said Lopez took heroin in the late evening hours the night before her death. Authorities said that Edgar provided her with the heroin.

â??This death is extremely tragic to our community. We have been aware that heroin has been on the rise in the large cities and has further introduced itself in our communities after several arrests in the past couple of years; however, for someoneâ??s life to be cut short due to this drug makes this an unusual case in our area," Sheriff Paul Petty said. "Often times in the law enforcement community, we are asked if we are identifying the dealers. This particular case is the ultimate threat of being a dealer and a user."

Petty said the charge of drug-induced homicide is rarely used in his rural community. He said the charge is much more prevelent in metropolitain areas in the state. He said the charge is similar to a reckless homicide charge if a person is charged with killing someone while driving a motor vehicle.