A Mounds View man is charged with murder, accused of giving a woman he met on Tinder a date-rape drug that killed her.
Edward Antonio Zappa, 38, of Mounds View, is charged with first-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder in connection to 43-year-old Thea Renae Toles’ death in November 2019.
According to the criminal complaint, Zappa met Toles on Tinder, and on Thanksgiving Day 2019 they were texting about getting together.
Zappa told Toles he was at a Thanksgiving dinner, but she could go to his house and wait for him there. She went to the house and waited while they continued texting, the complaint said. Zappa said he’d pick up some “smokes” and said, “I’ve got some ‘g’ similar to alcohol.”
G is short for GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid), a controlled substance known as the date-rape drug. It’s often in liquor form, mixed in a beverage, and it can cause hallucinations, euphoria, drowsiness, excited and aggressive behavior, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
The next day, Zappa called 911 to say Toles wasn’t breathing, the complaint said. He told police he spent they night together and he was unaware of any drugs she’d taken.
Toles was pronounced dead at the scene and she appeared as if she’d been dead for several hours, charges note. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s report listed GHB toxicity as the cause of her death.
Through search warrants, police found communication between Zappa and other people that indicate he used GHB and provided it to others. On his computer were searches related to the effects of GHB.
Zappa’s criminal history includes convictions of second-degree assault, third-degree drugs, domestic assault, motor vehicle theft and first-degree burglary, according to charges. He’s currently on probation from at least two of the prior felonies.