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A Minnesota man has been accused of killing his wife during an argument, duct taping her body and hiding it in a crawl space under the couple’s home before reporting her missing.
Joshua Fury, 28, is now facing second-degree murder charges after his wife Maria Fury’s body was discovered buried in the crawl space of the couple’s Maple Grove home, according to a criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Joshua first reported his wife missing around 6 p.m. on April 30. He told Maple Grove Police officers that he had last seen her earlier that morning around 11 a.m. as he was leaving for work. He said Maria had been on the phone talking to her mom and was planning to take a walk in the neighborhood.
When he returned home that afternoon around 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m., he told police Maria was gone but her cell phone was still sitting on the kitchen counter.
Joshua allegedly told investigators he biked around her normal walking routes before calling police.
“To officers, Defendant genuinely appeared concerned for Victim’s wellbeing,” the complaint said.
Police launched a large-scale search for the missing woman the following day on May 1, canvassing the neighborhood and scouring the nearby lake and woods.
But when investigators spoke to the couple’s friends and family, they learned that the couple was having marital problems and Maria’s mom told police that her daughter was planning to leave Joshua.
Police obtained a search warrant to search the couple’s home and brought in human recovery K9s who identified the presence of human remains in a crawl space underneath the house.
Police carefully searched the small dirt-covered space in an effort that took “hours,” before discovering Maria’s body around 1:30 a.m. on May 2, according to the complaint.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner determined in preliminary autopsy results that Maria had died from asphyxiation from duct tape and a plastic bag that had been placed over her mouth and nose. She also had trauma to her neck.
After the body was discovered, Joshua initially gave police “multiple statements” denying any involvement in the killing and attempting to shift blame to Maria’s ex-boyfriend, the complaint said. However, he later allegedly confessed to the killing, telling authorities he strangled his wife during an argument on the morning of April 30. Maria had allegedly told him she planned to leave him.
Prosecutors said he told authorities he squeezed until he felt a snap and said that Maria began “death breathing” so he placed a plastic bag over her head to stop her from breathing, according to the complaint.
After she died, he wrapped her arms in duct tape, dug a hole in the crawl space of the home, put her into the hole and covered it with dirt, authorities said. Joshua then allegedly cleaned up and went to work, estimating that the entire process of killing his wife and cleaning up the scene took about two and a half hours.
He told allegedly authorities he had planned to use the same roll of duct tape used to bind his dead wife to hang her missing person posters, according to the complaint.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement Tuesday that prosecutors planned to seek a $2 million bail in the case.
Maria’s family said in a statement obtained by local station WCCO that the 28-year-old’s death had left them with “broken hearts.”
“She was our joy, light and treasure. As our family honors Maria’s memory, and the immense joy that she brought to us all, we encourage you to focus on all the positive in the world. Love your babies as we loved our Maria,” the statement read.
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