A man killed his caregiver and one-time girlfriend, then buried her body in a domestic-related killing.
It took years to find her remains, now the killer will lose years of freedom behind bars
Last month, a judge in Wisconsin sentenced Randall Q. Merrick, 50, to 30 years in prison for the 2016 killing of Beth Johnson. Merrick pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide. He was originally charged with first-degree intentional homicide, which could have seen him spend life in prison, according to the Post Bulletin.
Johnson went missing on Christmas Day 2016, according to the Post Bulletin.
Merrick killed Johnson sometime between that day and March 12, 2017, in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, according to KSTP. Investigators described the killing as an act of domestic abuse. He then hid or buried the body.
Johnson and Merrick once dated but had split up. They were roommates and she acted as his caregiver at the time of her death, according to KSTP.
In March 2017, Johnson’s son said he had not heard from her mother since Christmas and Merrick was the only person to have contact with him.
In April 2018, a cadaver dog searched around Johnson’s former home and indicated there were human remains, according to KSTP. Still, her body was not found.
In July 2018, a witness told police that Merrick started to cry and said he didn’t mean to hurt her and that he killed her, according to KSTP. Merrick also told another person that investigators would never find Johnson’s remains.
Then, in 2020, Merrick was charged in connection to her death. Her body was found in Blaine, Minnesota, a week later.
In addition to spending 30 years behind bars, Merrick will also have to serve 20 years on supervised release.