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65-year-old woman charged with Racine County murder, hiding the body 20 years after body was found

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 18:35:12-05

RAYMOND — A 65-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of Peggy Johnson 20 years after Johnson's body was found.

Linda Laroche, 65, has been arrested and charged with the murder of Peggy Johnson. Additionally, she is being charged with attempting to hide a corpse after she placed Johnson's body off the road, near an embankment.

According to a criminal complaint, Johnson's body was found on the side of the road back on July 21, 1999. The body had many bruises, cuts, and road rash. An autopsy was conducted following the incident and the medical examiner also found several broken ribs.

At the time of the crime and autopsy, the identity of the body was unknown and labeled as Jane Doe.

On Sept. 23, the Racine County Sheriff's Office received a tip about a woman, who was identified as Laroche, who was claiming she had killed someone back when she lived in Illinois.

The Racine County Sheriff's Office interviewed one of Laroche's children and learned that from 1995-1999, they had a woman living with them in their house. That woman was identified as Johnson.

Laroche's child said that Laroche took Johnson in because she was homeless. They agreed that Johnson could live there and act as a nanny to Laroche's kids.

Both Laroche's ex-husband and her kids confirmed that Johnson lived with them for several years and recalled Laroche being very abusive to Johnson.

Laroche's ex-husband stated that he came home one day to Johnson laying on the ground looking lifeless. His then-wife told him that Johnson had overdosed. According to the complaint, Laroche then told her husband to take the kids for ice cream so she could get rid of the body.

Police then interviewed Laroche who changed her story several times. She claimed that Johnson had woken up so Laroche drove Johnson to a pay phone so Johnson could call her grandmother and ask her to take her in.

Laroche said the two then met up with someone at a diner, who Laroche thought was Johnson's grandma, and then Laroche left.

Police identified the body as Johnson and has contacted her family.

If convicted, Laroche could face up to life in prison, plus an additional five years for hiding the body.