Police: Somerset County woman dies after husband, drug dealer fail to help her

Local News

SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Somerset County drug dealer is behind bars after allegedly selling Fentanyl-laced heroin to a woman whose husband failed to contact 911 in time to save her.

On Jan. 4, the husband of Paulina Smith found her unresponsive with her head down on the coffee table, state police at Somerset note in the affidavit. Instead of calling 911 immediately, he texted 34-year-old Tony Eppolito, who allegedly sold Smith the heroin earlier that day, that he needed Narcan as he didn’t want police involved.

However, Eppolito told him to call an ambulance.

“I’ll just keep slapping her in the face and put ice packs all over her and hope she snaps out of it,” the husband texted to Eppolito in response, investigators note.

The husband also added in the texts that he wasn’t mad at Eppolito and that his wife was the one “being ******* stupid.”

After about an hour, the husband ended up calling 911, and Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller pronounced her dead on scene.

Police note they found a packet labeled “double kick” and a red straw with suspected heroin residue.

After searching through Smith’s phone, text messages from the day of her death indicate that she met with Eppolito hours before her overdose.

Toxicology results from Deputy Coroner Cullen Swank listed her cause of death as “acute Fentanyl toxicology,” and the manner was ruled accidental.

Eppolito is confined to Somerset County Prison with a cash bail of $100,000.

He was arraigned Wednesday on felony drug-related charges. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27.

No charges have been filed against Smith’s husband.

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