Rochester man pleads guilty to 2016 murder of Wisconsin woman

(ABC 6 News) – A Rochester man charged with killing a woman in Wisconsin in December of 2016 has entered a guilty plea.

48-year-old Randall Q. Merrick has entered a guilty plea to first-degree reckless homicide. He was accused of the murder of Beth Johnson, who was last seen on Christmas Day 2016.

According to the criminal complaint, Beth Johnson was last seen at her home in Nelson, Wis. on December 25, 2016, by her adult son. He later called law enforcement on March 12, 2017, reporting that he had not seen or heard from Beth since that day. According to her son, Beth shared a home with Merrick.

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On April 30, 2018, according to the complaint, a cadaver dog search was conducted around the home and grounds. The officer handling the K9 reported that it had alerted him to the scent of human remains.

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The body of Beth Johnson was found in Blaine, Minnesota after Merrick was arrested in June 2020.

Sentencing for Merrick is scheduled for February 2, 2022, in Buffalo County District Court.