MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (FOX 9) - A Maple Grove, Minnesota man has been charged with murder for allegedly killing his wife and burying her body in the crawl space of their home before calling police to report her missing.
Maria Fury, 28, was reported missing from her home on the 11000 block of Red Fox Drive last Thursday. Law enforcement organized a public search for her before eventually locating her body early Saturday morning.
Her husband, Joshua Fury, 28, was arrested. He was charged Monday with second-degree murder.
Joshua Fury, 28, is charged with killing his wife, Maria Fury, and burying her body in the crawl space of their Maple Grove, Minnesota home. (Hennepin County Jail / FOX 9)
According to the criminal complaint, Joshua reported his wife missing around 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, claiming he had left for work that morning and when he returned home his wife was not there. He allowed the responding officers to sweep the couple’s home, but they did not notice anything suspicious or out of place.
Law enforcement searched the area for two hours that night. They conducted a large-scale search the following day.
Investigators spoke to Maria’s friends and family, who said the couple was having marital problems. Some people described Joshua as controlling and possessive. Maria’s mother said Maria intended to leave him.
Maria Fury was found killed in her home on May 2, 2020. (The Pew and Weimelt Families)
Officers obtained a search warrant to search the couple’s home with the help of human recovery K9s. The K9s alerted them to the presence of human remains in the crawl space on the lower level of the home, which had a dirt floor covered in plastic. Officers obtained another search warrant to excavate the small crawl space floor.
Officers located Maria’s body around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. Due to the small crawl space, it took them hours to exhume her body.
Preliminary autopsy results from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death as asphyxiation from duct tape and a plastic bag placed directly over the victim’s mouth and nose. The plastic bag had still been in place when she was exhumed. She had trauma to her neck, but it did not appear to be broken.
Joshua was arrested. He eventually admitted to killing Maria on April 30 and burying her body in the crawl space. He said he strangled her during an argument about her leaving him.
Joshua said he “placed both hands around her neck and squeezed until her felt a snap,” the charges say. She was still breathing, so he secured a plastic bag over her head and nose until she stopped.
After she was dead, Joshua said he “wrapped her arms in duct tape, carried her body to the crawl space, dug a hole, placed her body in the hole, filled it up, covered and chalked plastic over the space then cleaned up the surrounded area and himself before going to work.” He said it only took two hours to kill her and bury her body.
Joshua told police he had planned to use the duct tape roll that he used to wrap Maria’s body to also hang missing posters for her.
Prosecutors are requesting a high bail for Joshua due to the extremely violent nature of the crime and evidence of planning and a coverup.
VICTIM'S FAMILY RAISING MONEY FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAM
In a statement, Maria’s family described her as a "happy, strong, resilient, supportive, and caring individual" who loved animals, exercise and her family. Though, with her life cut short they say she leaves behind "undone infinite possibilities."
Now, her family is looking to give her a platform to help others. They launched an online campaign called Maria's Voice and are asking instead of flowers for people to donate to Cornerstone Advocacy Services’ safe housing program. Amid the stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in calls to Minnesota's domestic violence hotline.
"If we can change the outcome for at least one woman, Maria would be so proud and honored," the statement read.