Third-degree murder charges against a woman accused of providing drugs that killed a woman in an Eden Prairie home in 2021 have been dropped after a key witness died from a drug overdose, according to a KARE-11 report.
Monica Jo Gould, 34, of South St. Paul, was accused of felony selling, giving or distributing a Schedule 1 and 2 controlled substance resulting in the Aug. 31, 2021, death of Amy Portillo, 23, of Edina.
Portillo was visiting the resident of a home on Kara Drive in Eden Prairie when she died, the criminal complaint said.
Natalie Hersch, who had driven Gould to the Eden Prairie house, warned Gould that she should not give the victim more drugs, then left the house and waited in a car, the complaint said.
Last month, Hersch was found dead in a St. Louis Park apartment from a drug overdose involving fentanyl, according to the KARE-11 report.
Prosecutors dropped the murder charge against Gould this week, saying that there wasn’t enough evidence without Hersch’s testimony.
Eden Prairie police were called by the home’s resident who found Portillo upon returning home after spending the night at a co-worker’s home, according to the complaint. He told police she was his fiancé.
An autopsy performed by the county medical examiner determined that Portillo’s death was due to a mix of fentanyl, parafluorofentanyl, alprazolam (Xanax), and ethanol toxicity.
Police investigating Hersch’s death are checking if she had recent contact with Gould, according to KARE-11.
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