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Nurse, 63, is arrested after ‘beating to death mentally disabled woman’ found dead 20 years ago

Female nurse, 63, is arrested after ‘beating to death mentally disabled woman’ whose battered body was found in a cornfield 20 years ago

  • Linda Laroche was charged in the murder of 23-year-old Peggy Lynn Johnson, whose dead body was found dumped in a Wisconsin cornfield in 1999.
  • Johnson, who was buried as a ‘Jane Doe’, was found to have suffered from ‘significant injuries’ and had been ‘brutalized by many means’
  • Her case went cold, but investigators continued working to identify the woman and learned her identity just a few weeks ago. That led them to Laroche
  • Laroche was arrested earlier this week in Florida where she was living and will be extradited to Wisconsin to face justice

A 63-year-old nurse was arrested in the brutal homicide death a young, mentally-disabled woman whose remains were found dumped in a Wisconsin cornfield 20 years ago, authorities said.

Linda Laroche was charged in the murder of 23-year-old Peggy Lynn Johnson of McHenry, Wisconsin, said Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling at a press conference on Friday.

Laroche was arrested earlier this week in Cape Coral, Florida, on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the killing of Johnson, who until now was buried as a ‘Jane Doe’.

Linda Laroche (pictured in an undated photo from the Lee County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office)  was charged in the homicide death of 23-year-old Peggy Lynn Johnson of McHenry, Wisconsin, in 1999, authorities said

A composite image of 23-year-old Peggy Lynn Johnson of McHenry, Wisconsin, is pictured. Her remains were found dumped in a Wisconsin cornfield 20 years ago, authorities said

A composite image of 23-year-old Peggy Lynn Johnson of McHenry, Wisconsin, is pictured. Her remains were found dumped in a Wisconsin cornfield 20 years ago, authorities said

Peggy Johnson, who was buried as a 'Jane Doe', was found to have suffered from 'significant injuries' and had been 'brutalized by many means', says Racine County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Christopher Schmaling at a press conference on Friday.

Peggy Johnson, who was buried as a ‘Jane Doe’, was found to have suffered from ‘significant injuries’ and had been ‘brutalized by many means’, says Racine County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Christopher Schmaling at a press conference on Friday.

Johson’s case went cold, but investigators continued working to identify the woman, whose remains were found in a cornfield in Raymond, about 40 miles outside McHenry. 

The years-long investigation then came across information that helped authorities identify the victim, which then led them to Laroche, said the sheriff. 

Authorities did not say what Johnson’s mental disability was, and it was unclear whether La Roche, who was living in Florida, was still employed as a nurse. 

The sheriff said Laroche waived extradition and will be returning to Wisconsin to face the charges against her.

‘We are angered by the senseless and brutal murder of this young woman and we want justice served’, Schmaling said at the news conference.

Johnson and Laroche met at a hospital in McHenry, where the nurse was working in the 1990s. The young woman had gone there seeking help after the death of her mother, said Schmaling. 

She then moved in with Laroche and the two lived together for the last five years of Johnson’s life. 

She had never been reported as a missing person and was found to have suffered from ‘significant injuries’ and had been ‘brutalized by many means over a long period of time’ when her body was found on July 21, 1999, Schmaling said.

 ‘All of us here who have investigated the deaths of individuals during the course of our careers have seen many troubling things. However, the utter barbaric brutality inflicted on this young woman is something none of us will never forget’, he added.

Her body was exhumed in 2013 when technology had progressed enough to possibly identify her. She was placed back into the earth two years later. The information that helped authorities identify her was only developed a few weeks ago. 

‘This is a day of mixed emotions ladies and gentleman for all of us in this room’, the sheriff said at the news conference, which was attended by law enforcement, community members and journalists who covered the story over the years.  

 ‘We’re also very proud today of the fact that we can actually offer some closure and some peace’, added the sheriff.

A Facebook post from Racine County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Christopher Schmaling's office expresses gratitude for someone who covered the 'Jane Doe' reference previously on Peggy Lynn Johnson's grave, with signs naming her for the first time

A Facebook post from Racine County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Christopher Schmaling’s office expresses gratitude for someone who covered the ‘Jane Doe’ reference previously on Peggy Lynn Johnson’s grave, with signs naming her for the first time

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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