MN man enters not guilty plea in Buffalo County homicide, hiding corpse case

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 3:02 PM CDT
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BUFFALO COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - A Rochester, Minnesota man has entered a not guilty plea in Buffalo County after being accused of killing and hiding the body of a woman.

Court records show Randall Merrick has been charged with first degree intentional homicide- domestic abuse incident and hiding a corpse. On Friday, Merrick entered a not guilty plea on both counts.

The charges are tied to the disappearance of Beth Johnson who was last seen on her home in the Village of Nelson on Christmas in 2016.

Authorities allege that Merrick and Johnson were living together at the time.

A month after Johnson was last seen, her son received a receipt from her debit card. It showed Merrick signed the receipt for buying a sledgehammer, trash bags and industrial cleaning products.

In April 2018, a K9 searching the area of Johnson's home came upon decomposing human remains.

Two months later, a witness saw Merrick crying and admitting, “I killed her.” When the witness asked who he killed, Merrick is said to have answered “Beth.”

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