Crime & Courts

McHenry woman accused of hiding drugs in tree is temporarily released from jail

Nicole Free, of the 2700 block of Stilling Boulevard, McHenry
Nicole Free, of the 2700 block of Stilling Boulevard, McHenry

A McHenry woman accused of stashing narcotics in a tree during a drug-related death investigation was released Tuesday from the McHenry County Jail.

Judge Sharon Prather agreed Friday to temporarily release Nicole Free on a nonmonetary bond so the 29-year-old could travel to Chicago, where she is expected to complete an in-patient treatment program, the judge’s order shows.

Although the order allowed for Free’s release Tuesday morning, she’ll return to McHenry County Jail on her previously set $75,000 bond once she completes treatment. She then would need to post $7,500 bail to be released again on bond.

It was not clear what the 29-year-old would be treated for. Her attorney, Dan Hofmann, could not be reached for comment.

Free, of the 2700 block of Stilling Boulevard, is accused of delivering heroin to someone who died shortly after from an apparent drug overdose, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney John Gibbons wrote in a motion.

Authorities have not released the name of the person who died or commented on details surrounding Free’s arrest.

When police arrived to investigate the possible overdose, Free was seen “hiding narcotics in a tree,” according to a criminal complaint filed in McHenry County court. She also allegedly deleted phone calls and text messages to hinder the officers’ investigation, the complaint said.

Free is charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of a controlled substance and obstructing justice.

It was not clear whether attorneys will move forward with a hearing on the case that previously was scheduled for Wednesday.

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