OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Prosecutors charged a Utah man Tuesday with child abuse homicide in the overdose death of his teenage baby sitter whose body was found in a shallow grave more than a month after she was reported missing.
Suspect Eric Millerberg also faces charges of having sex with a minor, obstructing justice and desecration of a body, Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said. Millerberg's wife, Dea, was charged with desecration of a body.
Alexis Rasmussen was babysitting for the Millerbergs at their North Ogden home on Sept. 10 — the night she vanished. The 16-year-old's body was found Oct. 18 off a nearby interstate after police received a tip from a confidential informant.
Smith said Rasmussen died of a drug overdose but declined to elaborate.
"We do know what happened to Alexis," Smith said.
Eric Millerberg faces the homicide charge because he provided the drugs that led to the girl's death, the prosecutor said.
The Millerbergs were arrested in October on separate drug charges stemming from the investigation.
Eric Millerberg has since been sent to prison on a probation violation. Dea Millerberg was released on bond pending a May 24 trial on charges of prescription drug fraud and child endangerment.
Dea Millerberg's defense lawyer, Michael Bouwhuis, said his client is "relieved" to have finally been charged.
"She has always maintained that she did not cause the death of Alexis Rasmussen, and this charge bears that out," Bouwhuis said. "She is very sorry about the untimely death of Alexis Rasmussen and sincerely hopes that the Rasmussen family will someday soon find healing and comfort."
A call to a public defender who previously represented Eric Millerberg was not returned Tuesday.
Smith previously said only that Rasmussen died in a house on or around Sept. 11 and that her body was moved to a grave near Interstate 84, about 35 miles from North Ogden.
The Standard-Examiner of Ogden has reported that, according to a now sealed search warrant, Dea Millerberg drove the girl to buy $100 worth of prescription medication and a small amount of marijuana on the night she vanished.
The search warrant cited statements from people interviewed by police who said the Millerbergs had a drug-fueled, salacious sexual relationship with Rasmussen and that the girl was paid in pills the night she disappeared.