• Police: Man, ailing wife had ‘death party,' used meth for days before she died

    By: Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    SEARLES, Minn. -

    Deputies called to a Minnesota home Thursday for a woman’s death found her husband, naked and high on methamphetamine following a “death party” he said the couple had before she died. 

    Duane Arden Johnson, 58, of Searles, was arrested and charged with criminal neglect and receiving stolen property, according to Brown County Jail records. He remained jailed Tuesday in lieu of $250,000 bond. 

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    The Mankato Free Press reported that Johnson called 911 around noon Thursday and reported that his wife, Debra Lynn Johnson, 69, had died. Court records obtained by the newspaper said the first deputies to arrive at the couple’s home found the words, “Death Parde God Hell” in red spray paint on the front door.

    A naked Duane Johnson ran out of the house and screamed that his wife was dead before running back inside, the records said. Deputies found him in the bathtub, where he said he was trying to clean little black and white “things” from his skin.

    Debra Johnson’s body was found wrapped in a sheet at the top of the stairs, the Free Press reported. She was still warm, but rigor mortis was settling into her arms, the newspaper said. 

    Duane Johnson told deputies that his wife had been a patient in a nursing home but begged him to take her home to die. Officials at the New Ulm Medical Center told investigators Debra Johnson had been at a nursing facility following two heart attacks.

    She also had diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as mental illnesses for which she took antipsychotic medication, the Free Press reported.  

    Duane Johnson took his wife home against medical advice, the newspaper said. 

    In her final days, Duane Johnson said, she had stopped taking her medication as they used meth and “rocked out” to their favorite band, Quiet Riot. The court documents allege when Debra Johnson couldn’t eat or drink, her husband used snow to moisten her mouth. 

    Duane Johnson said his wife suffered convulsions during that time frame, but would not allow him to call for help, the Free Press reported. He told investigators he held her to keep her from hurting herself during the seizures.

    Johnson also told investigators he and his wife had sex about two hours before she died, the newspaper said. After her death, he washed her and wrapped her in linen “like the Bible told (him) to do,” the court records said

    Detectives found several guns, including four rifles and two shotguns, in the home, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Duane Johnson told them he had 47 guns, several of which were stolen. 


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