RACINE, Wis. (AP) – The Latest on the killing of a woman whose beaten body was found in 1999 in southeastern Wisconsin (all times local):
A criminal complaint says a cognitively impaired Illinois woman whose body was dumped in southeastern Wisconsin in 1999 suffered burns, abrasions, lacerations and broken bones at the hands of a nurse who employed her as a nanny and housekeeper.
The victim’s identity had been a mystery since her body was found in a Racine County cornfield, but officials on Friday identified her as 23-year-old Peggy Lynn Johnson. A criminal complaint charges 64-year-old Linda La Roche in Johnson’s death.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said Friday that Johnson met La Roche when she went to a medical clinic in McHenry, Illinois, seeking help after her mother died. La Roche, recognizing Johnson’s disability, took her into her home, he said.
The complaint says Johnson suffered burns, blunt force trauma to much of her body, a fractured nose and had “branding marks” that were inflicted within five days of her death. Schmaling says the abuse occurred over a long period of time.
An autopsy shows Johnson died of an infection sustained from chronic abuse and that the manner of death was a homicide.
Authorities say an Illinois nurse has been charged in the death of a cognitively impaired woman whose body was found near a cornfield in southeastern Wisconsin in July 1999.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling says Linda La Roche, of McHenry, Illinois, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the killing of Peggy Lynn Johnson.
Schmaling says Johnson went to a medical center in McHenry seeking help after her mother died. There, she met La Roche who took her in. Schmaling says La Roche “barbarically” brutalized Johnson over many years.
La Roche was arrested in Cape Coral, Florida, and has waived extradition to Wisconsin.
Johnson’s body was exhumed in 2013 for identification using advancing technology. She was reinterred in 2015.
Authorities in southeastern Wisconsin say they now know the identity of a woman found dead near a cornfield in 1999 and have made an arrest in her death.
Racine County sheriff’s officials say the victim and suspect have ties to the Chicago area. Authorities plan to provide details at a news conference Friday.
The victim’s body was found on the edge of the cornfield in Raymond in July 1999. Investigators believe she had been tortured and authorities determined the woman they call Jane Doe was between 18 and 25 years old.
The victim’s body was exhumed in 2013 with the hope of using advancing technology to identify her. She was reinterred in 2015, 16 years to the day that her body was discovered.
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