Apex police: Murder suspect sold victim heroin

A man charged with murder in a fatal heroin overdose on Monday had sold the drug to the victim and had been with him when he overdosed a day earlier, police said in search warrant applications.

William Tyler Mayhew, 23, of 1100 Purple Glory Drive was arrested Tuesday night in Sanford and charged with murder for allegedly selling heroin to Eric William Darden, records showed.

Darden, 23, was declared dead in his home at 1715 Ashley Downs Drive on Monday evening after medics and firefighters tried for a half-hour to revive him, police said.

It was the second time in two days that Darden had overdosed on heroin, according to Apex police detective G.E. Pawluk.

In applications for warrants to search Mayhew’s and Darden’s homes, Pawluk told a magistrate that Darden had overdosed on heroin on Sunday at his house and that Mayhew had been there at the time but fled before medics arrived.

Darden was treated at a hospital and sent home Monday, Pawluk wrote.

Police learned that Darden’s cellphone had traded several text messages with Mayhew’s phone on Sunday afternoon about buying a half gram of heroin, Pawluk wrote.

“Yo, dude, can I get any of that today?” Darden said in a text to Mayhew’s cellphone, according to the warrant application.

“Yea, I think we can do that,” Mayhew texted back.

In discussing a price for the heroin, police said, Mayhew told Darden, “it’s not cheap, but its really really good.” In another message, Mayhew uses the phrase “if it’s his best....” in reference to the drug, but police did not disclose if they know who “his” refers to.

Police already suspected Mayhew of having heroin, because they had received complaints that drugs were being sold at the house on Purple Glory Drive. On Jan. 30, Pawluk wrote, police answered a call there about a disturbance between Mayhew and his step-mother.

Mayhew accused his step-mother of having marijuana in her bedroom, and she accused him of having heroin in his room, the application said. Neither would give police permission to search then.

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