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Missing woman case leads to Buffalo County murder trial

Brad Williams

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A Buffalo County woman went missing five years ago at Christmas, and a man she lived with goes on trial this year for allegedly killing her. 

Randall Merrick of Rochester reportedly confessed to the murder of 50-year-old Beth Johnson, last seen alive on Christmas Day of 2016.  He wasn’t charged with Johnson’s death until about a year ago. 

Judge Elliott Levine of La Crosse County will preside over the week-long Buffalo County trial of Merrick, starting December 6th.  Besides the homicide count, Merrick is also charged with hiding Johnson’s body.  

Johnson reportedly was a caretaker for Merrick.  A witness in the case claims Merrick had admitted to killing Johnson.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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