Duane Clark buried a baby in his backyard

But authorities say no crime was committed

"There were so many frickin' stories coming out of so many different people," Rasmussen recalls. "I'm just like, what's the truth? Just tell the truth of what happened to this poor child."

Rasmussen and Johnson conspired to get Duane to a police station, whether he would do it voluntarily or not. Rasmussen stuck by Duane's side the rest of the day.

"I didn't trust him. I knew he would run," Rasmussen says. "I wanted him to turn himself in. I wanted to have justice for that baby."

The Clark family home in Crystal as police found it in February
Crystal Police Dept.
The Clark family home in Crystal as police found it in February

Just after noon, Duane Clark pulled his two children out of Northport Elementary School and dropped them off at Trisha Jean Johnson's apartment. That evening, police arrived to take them into protective custody at a shelter for kids. There, Clark's progeny described a culture of violence at the family home.

Ten-year-old Victoria Rose told cops her parents "fight a little bit," and said she doesn't like it. Victoria said her parents "have hit each other when they fight and they say bad words to each other."

Three days before police took them to the shelter, Victoria said, her parents had a fight where they exchanged blows until Tiffany asked, "Why did you hit me?"

Tellingly, Victoria seemed to enjoy the accommodations at the shelter.

"I like it here," she told investigators. "It's fun to have books and we can watch movies, and we can relax and stuff."

That sentiment was echoed by Wesley, who told investigators he was "fine" being at the shelter. Neither child asked about going home.

His parents "fighted" a lot, Wesley said, yelling at each other and throwing punches. He would see them fight "most of the time."

Wesley's eyes welled up as he told investigators that seeing his parents fight made him mad. Tears rolled down his cheeks.

Asked if his parents ever talked about having more children, Wesley said no.

"They didn't want to have kids."

Inside the Crystal police station's soft interview room, a small space off the front lobby with cheap red couches, a small coffee table, and bare walls, Duane told cops about his third child.

Late on an August night in 2008, Duane was in another part of the house when he noticed Tiffany was missing. He found her in the bathroom, where she had given birth in the toilet.

Duane said the baby was about the size of a five-pound sack of flour. He freaked and considered calling 911, but his wife talked him down.

"No, no," Tiffany said, according to Duane. "It's already dead."

Duane paced the house, unsure what to do next.

"All I was ever told was, 'It's already dead, there's nothing you can do for it,'" Duane explained. "Calling someone ain't gonna do no good."

Duane took the dead baby and lay it on top of a clear plastic bag across the floor. After checking the baby for signs of life, Duane took the fetus and buried it two feet underground in the backyard.

He'd had no idea that his wife was pregnant, Duane told investigators.

Then Duane shocked the cops with a second story: Two years later, Tiffany gave birth to another baby inside the home, this time in the bedroom. Tiffany claimed that this baby was dead on arrival too, but Duane saw signs of life and rushed it to North Memorial Hospital, where the infant survived.

Duane told the doctors he wanted to have the baby but his wife didn't.

"She won't let me have it," Duane claims he said at the hospital. "It would ruin our marriage and she won't let me take it home."

Tiffany sat in the Crystal Police Department's jailhouse conference room, a snug cube with one table and white brick walls, down the hall from the city's holding cells. She had come to the police station shortly after Duane arrived.

She told investigators Duane didn't react well to the news of Tiffany's third pregnancy. "He had asked me to get an abortion and I told him I wouldn't," Tiffany explained. "If he didn't want it that we could give it to somebody who's more deserving, and he just refused."

Instead of taking Tiffany to the clinic, Duane researched abortion online and bought over-the-counter medications to manufacture a miscarriage, giving her a cocktail of Tylenol, Advil, and "an unknown little red pill."

It didn't work.

Next, Duane attempted to abort the child by having Tiffany lie on the ground while he dropped heavy weights on her stomach.

That failed too.

Finally, on that fateful August night, Duane came home from work with a white barbed plastic strip used to clean drains. Duane cut off the barbs along the edges and filed the end into a sharp point.

Tiffany lay on the ground and Duane stuck the homemade spear into her vagina. Unbearable pain spread through Tiffany's body as her water broke.

Tiffany squatted over the toilet and birthed the baby into the bowl.

Duane grabbed the baby "right away" and told Tiffany to lie down and push out the placenta. Afterward, Duane helped Tiffany — who was losing a lot of blood — into the bathtub. She passed out there but not before hearing what she thought was the baby screaming.

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