Drinking in Hot Tub Ends With Wife Dead, Husband Charged

Eric Huska charged with involuntary manslaughter in bizarre incident
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2019 5:07 PM CST
Updated Feb 24, 2019 1:40 PM CST
He Allegedly Closed Hot Tub Lid on His Wife, and She Died
Eric Huska's mug shot.   (Wheeling Police)

A bizarre tragedy in Illinois left a woman dead and her husband charged with involuntary manslaughter. Laura and Eric Huska were drinking in their backyard hot tub on a Saturday afternoon in Wheeling. Home security camera footage from the Feb. 9 incident shows Laura, 57, trying and failing to exit the hot tub; police say she became "distressed" while trying to get out, NBC News reports. Eric, 58, can be seen on the video trying to help her—then, allegedly and for reasons that are not clear, simply shutting the lid with his wife still in the hot tub and walking into their house. "For whatever reason he put the cover over her head," the deputy police chief says, per the Daily Herald. "We are sure alcohol was a major factor."

The video shows Laura struggling to open the cover for a time, then stopping. Police say it then shows Eric returning outside about 90 minutes after closing the lid, opening it, and seeing his wife floating in the tub. He called 911, but emergency responders were unable to revive Laura, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The medical examiner determined she died due to drowning by entrapment. Eric Huska has no prior criminal history, and police had no prior contact with the couple. Huska's lawyer says his client is "heartbroken" over his wife's death. "Alcohol and hot tubs don't mix," the deputy chief says, per the Chicago Tribune. (Parents die in resort hot tub before daughter's wedding.)

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