Bloomington man charged with providing drug that killed 39-year-old woman

Three hours after she bought $40 worth of a fentanyl-laced drug last spring, Erika Dawn Asbury was dead from an overdose.

The 39-year-old woman's boyfriend found her lifeless on the floor of the house they shared in Bedford at 1:03 a.m. on May 25.

"Will it kill me?" she asked the man now accused of selling her the drug.

"No," he responded.

A lethal purchase

An Indiana State Police detective traced Asbury's steps before she died and learned she arranged to buy the drug the night of May 24, sometime after she got off work at 5.

She withdrew $40 from an Old National Bank ATM in Bedford at 9:48 p.m. and arrived at Crawford Apartments on Bloomington's south side 18 minutes later. It was there, police said, that Asbury exchanged cash for the fentanyl-laced opioid that killed her.

A security camera at the complex shows a man approach Asbury's white Toyota Yaris and "have a short interaction with the driver." The car pulls away.

A clue on Facebook

Three months after Asbury died, her brother contacted the detective on the case with information. He had found a Facebook messenger conversation on his sister's page from May 24 where she inquired about buying heroin.

She said she had been clean about two years. "I wanna feel it but not wind up in the hospital LOL," she wrote. "Are you sure I'll be OK? I just need to get rid of some anxiety."

The response: "Ya I'm positive." Asbury says she'll be there in 40 minutes. "OK hun sounds good," was the reply.

An arrest

Police identified the person on the other end of that conversation as 35-year-old Arron Jacob Drew Reynolds of Bloomington. They arrested him Sept. 13 on a charge of dealing a controlled substance resulting in death.

Toxicology tests determined Asbury died from fentanyl toxicity. Fentanyl is a cheap and powerful synthetic opioid, about 50 times stronger than heroin, that's sometimes added to other drugs.

Reynolds was still living at Crawford Apartments, a Bloomington complex that provides homes to formerly unhoused people, when he was taken into custody.

He's being held at the Lawrence County Jail on $200,000 bond and faces a possible 20 to 40 years in jail if convicted. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Nov. 16.

Court records show that in January 2020, Reynolds pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine; two other meth-related charges were dismissed in a plea agreement. He got a two-year jail sentence with all but 48 days suspended.

A future dashed

The probable cause affidavit that resulted in Reynolds' most recent arrest, and other court documents, shed light on Asbury 's years of struggling with addiction.

In 2015, an article in the Bedford Times-Mail newspaper with the headline "Four jailed for heroin" listed then-31-year-old Asbury as one of those arrested.

In August of 2019, she was in jail again, facing two felony charges: possession of a narcotic drug and unlawful possession of a syringe. She checked into a drug treatment facility 10 months later.

After completing the program, Asbury, who had a bachelor's degree in psychology, seemed to have her life back on course. In November 2020, the prosecutor dismissed the drug charges.

Asbury was attending church, was in a stable relationship and had a job.

When her life ended, she was working at Bedford's Marathon gas station on 16th Street. She was awaiting approval of a mortgage loan for a house she and her boyfriend hoped to buy. Her boss told a detective Asbury was "happy and excited" at the prospect.

Contact H-T reporter Laura Lane at or 812-318-5967.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Fentanyl-laced heroin killed woman; Bloomington man charged in death