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Latest: Nurse charged in cognitively impaired woman's death

RACINE, Wis. — The Latest on the identity of a woman found fatally beaten in southeastern Wisconsin in 1999 (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Authorities say an Illinois nurse has been charged in the fatal beating of a cognitively impaired woman whose body was found near a cornfield in southeastern Wisconsin in July 1999.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling says Linda La Roche, of McHenry, Illinois, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the killing of Peggy Lynn Johnson.

Schmaling says Johnson went to a medical centre in McHenry seeking help after her mother died. There, she met La Roche who took her in. Schmaling says La Roche “barbarically” brutalized Johnson over many years.

La Roche was arrested in Cape Coral, Florida, and has waived extradition to Wisconsin.

Johnson’s body was exhumed in 2013 for identification using advancing technology. She was reinterred in 2015.

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6:36 a.m.

Authorities in southeastern Wisconsin say they now know the identity of a woman found fatally beaten near a cornfield in 1999 and have made an arrest in her death.

Racine County sheriff’s officials say the victim and suspect have ties to the Chicago area. Authorities plan to provide details at a news conference Friday.

The victim’s body was found on the edge of the cornfield in Raymond in July 1999. Investigators believe she had been tortured and authorities determined the woman they call Jane Doe was between 18 and 25 years old.

The victim’s body was exhumed in 2013 with the hope of using advancing technology to identify her. She was reinterred in 2015, 16 years to the day that her body was discovered.

The Associated Press