Eric Huska is a Wheeling, Illinois man who is accused of leaving his wife, Laura, to die in a hot tub after closing the lid on her head so she couldn’t get out.
The bizarre death unfolded in the couple’s back yard on February 9, 2019. “She wasn’t in any condition to get out on her own, and she would’ve had to lift the lid to get out,” said Deputy Chief Todd Wolff of the Wheeling Police Department in a statement he gave to CBS Chicago and that he confirmed to Heavy. “Initially he closed it down on top her head–she couldn’t get out.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Laura Huska Was Suffering Distress in the Hot Tub & Couldn’t Exit It On Her Own, Police Say
Wheeling police said in a press release obtained by Heavy that they responded to the Huska residence on February 9, 2019 around 6:45 p.m. “in reference to an unresponsive female victim identified as Laura Huska, 57…the wife of Eric Huska.”
She was located in the rear yard outdoor hot tub.
“Lifesaving efforts were performed by paramedics of the Wheeling Fire department. The victim was subsequently transported to Glenbrook Hospital and pronounced dead.”
According to the news release, “the investigation revealed an outdoor video surveillance of the incident. The video evidence showed the victim to be distressed and was unable to get out of the hot tub on her own. Eric Huska initially attempted to help the victim out of the tub. Huska partially closed the lid of the hot tub while the victim was still in the hot tub and entered his residence. Later in the evening, Huska returned to the hot tub and found the victim floating unresponsive inside the closed hot tub.”
Asked what caused Laura Huska’s initial distress, Deputy Chief Wolff told Heavy: “Alcohol and the heat of the hot tub, toxicology tests are pending, it will be weeks before those results are received.”
2. Eric Huska Posted Numerous Photos With His Wife on Social Media
Huska filled his Facebook page with photos of himself with his wife. “Sweet couple” and “great picture” were some of the comments under one picture that included a filter reading “thankful for us.”
Other photos on Facebook included the couple’s garden and numerous pictures posted by Eric Huska that showed the food he made from it, especially on a grill. “Mozzarella Stuffed tomatoes with fresh basil,onion and tomatoes from garden,” he wrote with one post.
“Twins,” wrote a friend with another picture of the pair, who were wearing matching shirts in different colors in one photo on the Facebook page. In 2015, he posted a selfie of himself with Laura and wrote, “Last day in Vegas. Happy Anniversary to us!”
3. Huska Claimed He Got Up to Work Out Every Week Day at 3 a.m. & Called His Wife ‘Lovely’
On Facebook, Eric Huska indicated that he lived a life focused on fitness and healthy eating. “Ending our week. Up at 3 a.m. Monday-Friday to work out, then work all day. Beat by Friday,” read one post with a picture of him with his wife.
A friend responded, “Eric, you get up at 3am to work out? why so early?”
Some posts and photos referenced or showed the couple’s hot tub.
Other photos showed alcohol, though, including a vodka bottle and glasses of champagne. He posted a photo with a box of gifts and wrote, “A beautiful hot gift from my lovely wife thank you I love you.” In 2015, he wrote, “Sunday late lunch then going home to hot tub and bed.”
4. Police Don’t Have a Prior Record of Calls to the Couple’s Home
Wheeling police don’t have a record of any call history to the couple’s home before Laura Huska’s death, Wolff told Heavy. He also said that Eric Huska has no criminal history.
On Facebook, a neighbor had praised the couple before the death occurred, saying they made great neighbors. Eric’s Facebook page says he went to Maine Township High School North.
The couple purchased their home in 2009. A LinkedIn page in Laura Huska’s name identified her as an IT professional.
5. The Motive Is Not Clear But Alcohol ‘Played a Part,’ Police Say
Authorities have not provided a motive for Eric Huska’s alleged actions. “No idea other than a very tragic incident and alcohol played a part,” Wolff told Heavy when asked if authorities have determined a motive.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office has ruled the death a homicide, though. A charge of involuntary manslaughter, a class 2 felony, was approved by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, according to the police news release.
The news release said that Huska was transported to the Cook County Criminal Court Building for a bond hearing.