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A Wisconsin sheriff said Friday that his investigators had hacked into a 20-year-old murder mystery.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling announced that Linda Laroche, 64, of Cape Coral, Fla., was arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the death of Peggy Lynn Johnson, 23, of McHenry, Illinois.
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“We are very proud to have today due to the fact that in the end we can have some closure and some peace,” Schmaling said, according to Fox 6 in Milwaukee, wisconsin. “Each and every one of us here who have done research on the death of the individual in the course of our careers have seen a lot of pain and misery. However, it is the entire barbaric cruelty inflicted upon a young woman, and it is something that none of us will ever forget.”
In July of 1999, a man and a dog in Raymond, Wis., the body of a young woman who was brutally beaten and tortured. For two decades, the victim was known simply as “Jane Doe.”
That all changed in September, with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that Laroche had been “to tell people that she had killed a woman, back when she lived in Illinois.”
Mugshot, left, and Linda Laroche; Peggy Lynn Johnson
(Lee County Sheriff’s Office/the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
The complaint alleges that the researchers found that, in 1999, Johnson was a live-in nanny for the Laroche children. It is also said that Johnson and Laroche met at a medical clinic, where Laroche worked as a nurse for a number of years, and that Johnson was mentally retarded.
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The complaint says that investigators talked to Laroche’s children, who said their mother was very abusive to Johnson, who, while she lived with them. It reminded her of stitches, at Johnson’s head in with a pitchfork. La Roche’s ex-husband, the abuse, and said that the last time she saw Johnson, she was dead on the floor. La Roche was telling him that Johnson was a drug overdose, and that she was going to take her home so that the family wouldn’t be involved at all.
When authorities first interviewed at La Roche, they have admitted that they have abused Johnson’s, who moved in in 1994. She also told me several stories about how the Johnson’s moved out of the house, and at first, they say, rose Johnson, to her grandmother, but later on she said, as she drove Johnson to Wisconsin, and to the left of the hair on the side of the road. According to the complaint, she told authorities that Johnson was not injured, and something has to be done after the La-Roche on the left.
The complaint says Laroche, told investigators several different stories about what happened to Johnson in 1999. It is said that during the second call, LaRoche said she last saw Johnson, when she drove her to Wisconsin, and dropped her off.
An autopsy showed that Johnson was malnourished, had been hit in the head, just before his death, and he had a broken nose and fractured ribs, some of which were broken following the death of a number of of which had been previously broken and healed. She had been burned, possibly by the chemical, and more than 25 per cent of her body, and the branding marks on her body. The autopsy report shows she died of septicemia, pneumonia caused by an infection from the wounds which they suffered during chronic abuse.
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Investigators exhumed Johnson’s body and, in 2013, with the hope of advanced technology, in order to identify them. They were reinterred in the year 2015, after 16 years on the day her body was discovered.
Laroche was arrested on Tuesday, and Schmaling said that she had been apart of for the extradition to Wisconsin. The court and the legal documents that spelled the defendant’s name, La Roche, LaRoche, and Laroche, and it was not immediately clear what exactly it was.
Now that Johnson has been identified, authorities plan to exhume her remains back and rebury her in addition to her mother, and in Belvidere, Ill., Schmaling said. Her only surviving relative is a sister whom she never met any of them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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