By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
"I only remember bits and pieces," Duane said. "I don't remember when she found out or when she even told me anything."
As the interrogation continued, the cops suggested Duane had a reason to be upset over the third child: the couple's financial problems.
"No matter how much we really didn't have food, a hundred bucks, two hundred bucks a month, it's always worked out," Duane countered.
When the police asked what kind of relationship he had with his wife, Duane said, "Okay. I love her. Still do."
Then he changed the subject. "I'm mad that I brought any of this up," Duane said. "I should have just kept my mouth shut."
Duane acknowledged that his wife sees that evening differently.
"She looks at me as if I'm a monster and it's my fault," Duane said, because he should have stopped "the whole thing."
"I know she hates me for what happened," Duane explained. "'Cause I hate myself for what happened."
But he denied being angry about the third pregnancy, which he insisted he didn't remember at all.
"You're fucking lying to me, that's what you're doing," Detective Hodge said. "You're lying to me."
Duane stuck to his story and posed a question of his own to the investigators: "But if that was the case, why was it when it was born, why would I be running around the house frantic on what to do?"
"Because I don't think that happened," Hodge said, saying neither one of them wanted the baby. "You're absolutely wrong," Duane answered.
The cops asked whose idea it was to bury the dead baby.
"It was both of ours," Duane said. "We didn't know what to do. We didn't know what to do."
And so the interrogation continued with the cops hammering Duane Clark for not calling 911, for claiming not to have known about the pregnancy, and for lying; Duane kept responding that he didn't know about the pregnancy, that he didn't hear the baby cry, and that he was telling them everything he could remember.
"Do you know what you're looking at here, Duane?"
"No," Duane answered. "I don't."
"You're looking at murder," Hodge said.
Police released Duane and Tiffany Clark shortly after the jailhouse interviews. There wasn't enough evidence yet to formally charge either of them with a crime. As soon as Tiffany Clark got out of jail, she filed for a restraining order against her husband. The petition, filed March 5, detailed the domestic disputes preceding Duane's confession. Duane denied Tiffany's allegations but agreed to the issuance of a restraining order, which also forbade Duane from having unapproved contact with the children.
Meanwhile, police worked to gather evidence that could refute or corroborate Tiffany's claims. They dug up the baby buried in the backyard, which the Hennepin County medical examiner determined was a 30- to 38-week-old fetus at the time of death.
Investigators confirmed that Duane Clark took the fourth baby into North Memorial Hospital, but no one at the hospital ever contacted Tiffany to ask for her version of events. That baby was taken by the state.
The cops also seized the family's home computers and Duane's laptop, which police found had been used to access Planned Parenthood's website a month before the third child was buried.
"This would support Tiffany Clark's claim that Duane had been researching abortion prior to the delivery of the baby that was buried," noted Crystal Lt. David Oyaas in a police report.
Police also interviewed Duane's young girlfriend, Trisha Jean Johnson, who told investigators that Duane demanded a sexual relationship to let her live at the Brooklyn Park apartment. He threatened consequences if she refused.
"That I couldn't live here and that I would lose my kid and he would take her away from me," Johnson recalled.
Duane controlled the young woman's finances and would hit her, even punching her in the stomach while she was holding her daughter, Johnson told police.
"There was a time where he was drinking where he said, 'I know how to hurt people and not have it be shown,'" Johnson said.
Duane would strangle her during sex and "keep going" when she told him to knock it off. He took other sexual liberties with his young lover.
"He just jumped right in and then put it in my other hole and just was going for it," Johnson said.
Duane was a loner and a hard drug user who was only close with his dealer. Duane did "coke, meth, everything," Johnson said. (Tiffany also told police Duane introduced ecstasy into their bedroom.)
Johnson recounted her reaction to Duane's story about Tiffany "burying the baby alive." She said she was immediately skeptical.
"How could a woman that just gave birth to a baby dig a hole?" Johnson wondered.
She quickly suspected Duane was involved based on his insistence that he needed to "unbury" the child "so he wouldn't get in trouble."
Before Duane left the apartment that afternoon to tell Crystal police his story, Johnson accompanied him and Kalina Rasmussen to the truck and said farewell.
"I hope you still love me," Duane told her. "I'm only doing this for you."