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DANVILLE — The Vermilion County sheriff's office is investigating an apparent suicide at the county jail over the weekend.

Dustin E. Earles, 33, of Tilton, was pronounced dead on Saturday morning at the jail, according to Coroner Peggy Johnson. He died of an apparent hanging.

Sheriff Pat Hartshorn said a guard discovered Earles' body in his cell around 7:30 a.m. He said Mr. Earles apparently tore pieces of his bed sheet together and made a noose.

Hartshorn said Mr. Earles, who had been incarcerated since late March, had not exhibited any suicidal tendencies.

According to Vermilion County court records, Mr. Earles faced multiple methamphetamine-related charges and a weapons charge, and was in jail on a $100,000 bond.

He was charged on March 30 with possession of more than 5 grams of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine material; possession of more than 15 grams of a methamphetamine precursor (pseudoephedrine), possession of an anhydrous ammonia container, possession of anhydrous ammonia with intent to manufacture the drug and possession/use of a firearm.

His jury trial was scheduled for June 8.

"The weapon was found in his hotel room," States Attorney Randy Brinegar said, referring to the American Inn on East Main Street.

Brandon Bott, the project manager for B&B Construction in Westville, said Mr. Earles worked as a sales representative for the company for about a year.

"He was a really hard worker," he said, adding Mr. Earles left for a job at Mervis Industries about nine or 10 months ago.


Noelle McGee is a Danville-based reporter at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@n_mcgee).

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