A 22-year-old Okawville man has been charged with providing fentanyl-laced heroin that led to the death of an Ashley teen, and then trying to cover up the teen’s death.
Shane R. Lindsay, of the 300 block of North Mill Street, has been charged in Washington County with drug-induced homicide as well as obstruction of justice by destroying evidence, concealment of a death and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.
Lindsay is charged in the death of 18-year-old Dakota Ellerbusch, who was found dead New Year’s Day at a clubhouse in rural Washington County.
The charges accuse Lindsay of providing fentanyl-laced heroin to Ellerbusch. The obstruction charge accuses Lindsay of giving false information to a Washington County detective “as to the true circumstances surrounding the death of Dakota Ellerbusch and his actions and involvement thereto.”
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The concealment charge accuses Lindsay of “lying to and giving misdirection to John Ellerbusch as to the actual physical location of Dakota Ellerbusch,” for the purpose of “preventing or delaying the discovery of the death of Dakota Ellerbusch.”
The most serious charge against Lindsay is drug-induced homicide, which carries a sentence of 15-30 years in prison if convicted.
Bail for Lindsay was set at $150,000, meaning he would need to post $15,000 in cash for his release on bond. A public defender was appointed to represent Lindsay.
A statement from Washington County Sheriff Danny Bradac said the FBI has assisted in the investigation.
The cabin where Ellerbusch died sits on property owned by state Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, who resides about 4 miles away. The cabin itself has not been owned by Meier’s family since the 1950s. Meier said he wasn’t aware of what happened at the clubhouse until afterward.
“Farming our family farm along the interstate, I have heard and seen a lot. However, I will never forget the phone call I received earlier this year about an alleged drug overdose at the old river bottom clubhouse located along the Kaskaskia River,” Meier said in a statement released Tuesday. “It was later determined to be the body of a family friend named Dakota. His family and mine have been friends for decades. Dakota’s family maintained the clubhouse on my family’s property dating back to the 1950s.”
Meier added: “The illicit drug epidemic is real and literally hit too close to home. I appreciate the hard work our first responders and law enforcement have and continue to put toward investigating this tragedy. I hope they catch and prosecute whomever was involved. My heart goes out to Dakota’s family.”
Authorities have sealed the coroner’s toxicology report on Ellerbusch, meaning it cannot be viewed by the public, citing a continuing investigation. State’s Attorney Daniel Bronke argued in an April hearing that few people in the area have access to one or more of the substances found in Ellerbusch’s body. He implied investigators were trying to determine where the teen may have received the substance or substances, and that releasing the toxicology report might tip off suppliers.