A Minnesota man charged with his wife’s murder is accused of strangling her before burying her body in a crawlspace and faking her disappearance.
Joshua Fury, 28, is behind bars in Hennepin County Jail after his wife, Maria, was found dead inside their Maple Grove home on May 2, according to jail records. Fury had reported Maria missing two days earlier, saying she had left their home to go on a walk at 11:30 a.m. but never came home, according to a criminal complaint obtained by WCCO, the Star Tribune and KSTP.
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That night, police searched the couple’s home but found nothing out of the ordinary. They also canvassed the area with the help of a helicopter.
However, during interviews with investigators, family revealed that Maria had planned to leave her husband and that Fury was “controlling and possessive,” according to the complaint.
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On Saturday morning, authorities executed a search warrant of the couple’s home with K9 dogs, who located Maria’s body buried in a crawlspace on the lower level. The space was 3 to 4 feet high, with a dirt floor.
Maria’s body had a plastic bag duct-taped around her mouth and nose and appeared to have been asphyxiated.
Prior to his arrest, Fury allegedly denied hurting his wife, but later he allegedly admitted to squeezing her neck, placing the bag on her head to stop her breathing and burying her.
“He said he strangled her during an argument about Victim leaving him,” the complaint states.
Fury allegedly claimed to be suffering from depression and threatened to commit suicide if Maria tried to leave him.
In a statement, Maria’s family described her as “a happy, strong, resilient, supportive and caring individual.”
“Maria Pew is a victim of a horrific, unthinkable crime. But we will not allow her to be remembered that way; Maria would hate it if the world saw her as a victim. Maria was so much more,” the family said.
“In an effort to change the ending of Maria’s story for other women, we ask that you please consider supporting Cornerstone Advocacy Services’ safe housing program,” the family said. “If we can change the outcome for at least one woman, Maria would be so proud and honored. Donations can be made here in honor of ‘Maria’s Voice’ here or here.”
Fury faces one count of second-degree murder and is being held on a $2 million bail. It is unclear whether he has an attorney to comment on his behalf or has entered a plea.