BROWN COUNTY, Minn. (WZTV) — A Minnesota man was arrested after telling investigators he had a "death party" for his wife involving meth and loud rock music before wrapping her body in a bed sheet.
Brown County deputies were called to investigate reports of a deceased person at 11:44 a.m. on Jan. 24 near Sperl Ave. in Searles. When authorities arrived, they noticed the front screen door had the words "Death Parde God Hell" in red spray paint.
Court documents say Duane Johnson swung open the screen door while naked and yelled, "My wife is dead upstairs" before running back into the house. Deputies found Johnson in the bathtub and reported that he said his wife was "shaking so violently" and he "couldn't stand to see her flop around anymore." Johnson reportedly confessed to law enforcement officers that he and his wife had been using methamphetamine for several days before her death.
Officers discovered the body of Debra Johnson wrapped tightly in a gray bed sheet from head to toe fastened with what appeared to be a belt at the top of a narrow stairway. Johnson identified the body upstairs as his wife's and said, "I prepared the dead like the Bible told me to do," according to an affidavit. Deputies reported Johnson saying he followed the ways of the Old Testament by "cleaning her, making her beautiful and wrapping her in linen."
When investigators asked Johnson about the paint on the door, Johnson reportedly said his wife had been in a nursing home and that she begged him to get her out because she wanted to die at home. Johnson said he couldn't stand to see her suffer anymore and promised her a party, so he turned up the music loud and they had been "rocking out" for three days, according to court documents.
In an affidavit, Johnson said he had a "death party" for his wife that started five days prior to his wife's death that consisted of him playing loud rock music, specifically the couple's favorite song by Quiot Riot "Metal Health" while holding her in their bed when she happened to shake.
Johnson told officers he though his wife passed away at around 8 a.m. that morning and this time he "wanted to make sure she was dead." A deputy recalled Johnson saying he was in less pain now that his wife had died because "God had given him mercy and relieved some of his pain" since he fulfilled his promise to his wife that he would not let her die in a nursing home.
Johnson is charged with criminal neglect and receiving stolen property in connection with the Jan. 24 incident.