Father of Richmond-area teen who died last week now faces charges along with mother, has 1st court appearance

Both parents now face drug and child endangerment allegations

Eric Ullrich, left, and Cara Ullrich have both been arrested in connection to a 14-year-old boy's death in Richmond.

The father of a 14-year-old boy, who was found unresponsive in his home near Richmond last week and pronounced dead, has been arrested and charged in connection with his death, McHenry County court records show.

Eric Ullrich, 51, of the 9600 block of Hillendale Road in Richmond Township, was charged with possession of controlled substance, a Class 4 felony, as well as endangering the health or life of a child, a misdemeanor, according to a criminal complaint.

Ullrich is accused of illegally possessing less than 15 grams of a substance containing cocaine. He also is accused of permitting the 14-year-old boy to be in circumstances endangering his life and health when Ullrich suspected the boy “to be under the influence of heroin/fentanyl and did not seek medical care,” the criminal complaint said.

At an initial court appearance Thursday afternoon, Assistant State’s Attorney Cecilia Blue said Ullrich told police that at about 1 a.m. Jan. 3, the 14-year-old said he did not feel well and Ullrich put him in the shower. After his shower, the boy laid on the couch and fell asleep. When Ullrich checked on him at 11 a.m. that same day, the boy wasn’t breathing and was unresponsive. Ullrich called 911.

Ullrich allegedly told police that he thought his son might have been under the influence of something when he laid him on the couch, Blue said.

The teen later was pronounced dead at Northwest Medicine McHenry.

Blue said police found at least one small plastic bag containing white powder residue in the boy’s room, an orange cap to a needle and dried blood spatter on the wall. The powder was found through testing to be fentanyl, she said.

Police also found plastic bags, vials, smoking pipes and digital scales coated with powdery residue in the bedroom shared by Eric and Cara Ullrich, the prosecutor said. The powders tested positive for fentanyl and cocaine.

Naloxone, which is used to reverse the overdose effects of heroin, was found in the kitchen, Blue said.

Because of the charges being low-level Class 4 felony and a Class A misdemeanor, the SAFE-T Act does not allow prosecutors to ask that Eric Ullrich be detained in the county jail pretrial. Blue therefore asked for release with conditions.

McHenry County Chief Judge Michael Chmiel ordered that Eric Ullrich follow all laws, stay in Illinois, attend all court proceedings, refrain from drug use, submit to a drug use evaluation and follow any recommendations.

The prosecutor also tried to restrict Ullrich from having contact with a younger child.

However, Ullrich’s defense attorney, Daniel Hoffman, said that a separate hearing was held in another courtroom Thursday at which Ullrich was permitted to have supervised contact with his surviving child.

The children’s mother, Cara Ullrich, 45, was charged last week with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and endangering the life or health of a minor according to the criminal complaint filed in the McHenry County courthouse.

Cara Ullrich is accused of possessing less than 200 grams of fentanyl and less than 15 grams of cocaine, as well as endangering two boys, ages 14 and 13, according to the complaint.

Cara Ullrich allegedly told police she bought two bags of fentanyl shortly before Jan. 3, and Eric Ullrich told police they had fought that morning because Cara Ullrich said her drugs had been stolen, Blue said.

Eric Ullrich also allegedly admitted to police he used cocaine in an attached garage of the home on Dec. 31, Blue said.

When police arrived at the home that morning, Cara Ullrich was hiding in a bathtub and tried to flee police when paramedics arrived to help her son, Assistant State’s Attorney Tyler Mikan said at Cara Ullrich’s hearing last week.

Mikan also detailed the findings of fentanyl and cocaine found in the home.

Cara Ullrich remains in McHenry County jail for allegations that she violated probation in an unrelated case. She is due back in court Feb. 22.

Eric Ullrich is due back in court Feb. 13.

McHenry County Coroner Michael Rein said Friday that an autopsy on child was performed, however, results are pending the outcome of a toxicology test.