Bitch are you crazy? No sweetie we haven't All buried a baby in a backyard.....i wish i knew you so I could punch you dead ass in the face....
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 love you, too," Johnson replied.
Melissa Laue lives in a Faribault public housing unit with her nine-year-old son, another child Duane didn't want.
Seated in a cramped living room across from a mantle displaying family photos, Laue recalls her short fling with Duane.
She logged onto Yahoo! chat in the summer of 2002 in search of a good time. Laue, then 17, found 21-year-old Clark. Soon, they agreed to meet for a hookup.
But when she got pregnant, Duane wasn't happy.
"He told me that he wanted me to have an abortion," Laue says. "I told him I didn't believe in that so that's the way it was going to be."
Duane never showed up to her doctor's appointments, and didn't come to the hospital when the baby was born. "He didn't care, clearly," Laue says.
When Laue asked about Duane's parents so she could let them know they had a grandson, Duane told her they were dead.
After a court ordered him to pay child support, Duane ponied up. But in the summer of 2004, he claimed he could no longer afford to fulfill his parental duties to Hunter.
"I at this time have lost my job and can't find another one, so I can't afford the support anymore," Duane wrote in a letter to Laue. "As well when I was working I did not have the money for my family and I to have any health or dental plan, because I have been paying the support."
In 2004, Duane had two children with Tiffany. He requested a meeting with Laue alone. When they got together, he offered her a lump sum payment of $30,000 to get out of his life forever, with another $30,000 to come later. She refused.
"I didn't mean to sound like a gold digger but by the time Hunter was 18, I could get more out of him than $60,000," Laue explains. "I always told him in the beginning that's not what I wanted. I wanted Hunter to have a father."
Although Duane hasn't played much of a role in their child's life, he kept paying Laue child support until the checks suddenly stopped in January. But Laue says Duane threatened both her life and Hunter's a few years ago as they discussed child support payments.
"I pissed him off so he told me he was going to kill Hunter and I," Laue says. "So of course I panicked, called the cops, and he said the only reason he did it was I made him mad."
Her story is substantiated by Goodhue County Sheriff's Department records, which record the domestic dispute happening in September 2004. Laue declined to press charges.
"I said this is the first time this had ever happened but I said that if it did happen again, I would," Laue explains.
When the cops confronted Duane, he admitted saying that he wished Laue was dead.
"Clark stated they were harsh words but at the time he was upset," the report notes. "Clark stated he regrets said words."
Police requested murder charges against Duane and Tiffany Clark, which the Hennepin County Attorney's Office declined to prosecute, an announcement County Attorney Mike Freeman made in a brief statement about what was termed the "Crystal baby remains case."
Freeman noted that there were conflicting stories of whether the baby was born alive in the Clarks' home. Freeman praised the Crystal Police Department's "excellent investigation," but said there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute.
Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker rarely ventures out to the scene of a crime, maybe a handful of times per year, he says, but he visited the clandestine grave in Crystal.
"Clearly, this was not an everyday call into the medical examiner's office," Baker says.
Baker declines to discuss specific details surrounding the case, citing state privacy laws, but confirms that he listed the baby's cause of death as unknown. That determination doomed the case for prosecutors.
"Was this baby murdered? In order to be murdered, you have to be born alive," Freeman says. "Trying to tell about whether or not a child was alive when it was born after it's been buried three years is nearly impossible."
Freeman declined to discuss specifics or allow his prosecutor, Cheri Townsend, to discuss more details. "We send a written decline to the victim and the police agency," Freeman said. "We do not release that ourselves nor comment on it."
City Pages obtained a copy of the confidential document from Crystal police.
In it, Townsend thanks the Crystal Police Department for "submitting this important and challenging case" before passing on prosecuting it.
Despite the best efforts of the police, Townsend said, there was not enough evidence to corroborate either version of events. But Townsend's analysis contains questionable assertions.
For instance, Townsend notes Clark's first story to police: that the baby was stillborn in the bathroom and he buried it without telling anyone. Townsend claims Duane "repeated this story to several people immediately prior to telling police."
In reality, Duane told Kalina Rasmussen one story and Trisha Jean Johnson another story on the day he turned himself in to police. Sandy Swanson, Tiffany Clark's mother, also received a phone call from Duane sometime before he walked into the police station, where he allegedly said there were two babies buried at the home. (That turned out to be false.)
Bitch are you crazy? No sweetie we haven't All buried a baby in a backyard.....i wish i knew you so I could punch you dead ass in the face....
Hunter may not have his biological father in his life, but, he has Papa, Grandpa, uncle Justin and "dad" Neil. Wants to grow up and be like uncle Justin! I only wish the other kids had these influences in their lives. Melissa is a fantastic mom and I'm a blessed to have such an amazing nephew. Its a shame hunter has Duanes genes, but, he will continue to grow up with values, morals, respect and the love of & for his family!
Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that the baby was stillborn and no crime was committed regarding the birth. It still seems logical that to bury a human being in one's yard is in itself a criminal act. Citypages ran a story, "The Last Kennel," on January 6,1999 about pet cemeteries. From that piece: "It's illegal to dig a hole for your pet in the back yard or toss it in somebody's dumpster." So...illegal to bury your dog in your yard, but no charges filed when you bury a child? Is this not tampering with a body, at the very least?
Could this article have more irrelevant details (i.e. Mr. Clark's sexual proclivities, the condition of Ms. Laue's home)? More ethical violations (i.e. printing children's names)? More illusions about "evidence" that doesn't meet standards required for court? Nice attempt at journalism, Mr. Pratt. Perhaps you should reserve your skills for the opinion areas of online media. And "Shame on you" City Pages, for allowing this to be published, much less with so much fanfare. And "Shame on you" too, Crystal Policy Department for facilitating the leaked correspondence. Your future relationship with the County Attorney's Office has now been tarnished for years-to-come. But kudo's to Hennepin County Attorney's Office for demonstrating courageous judgement in what surely was a heart-wrenching decision. And, gratitude to Hennepin County Child Protection for what appears to be a successful termination of parental rights for the infant that was surrendered.
keep your head up melissa and dont you worry none of us gave any thought to this article other than the shame that prosecutor should feel for not prosecuting them!!! KEEP WORKING HARD MELISSA YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WILL BE IN MY PRAYERS!!!
They both agree that the baby in the back yard was a boy, when in fact it was a girl. Shouldn't the authorities be looking for the baby boy ?! Keep his name out there and lets get justice !
I first off; I want to say that I am very disgusted with parts of the article. I was put out there to look like white trash and a whore when I was 17. I never “logged onto yahoo chat to look for a good time.” Also saying that I live in a “public housing unit” as well as being “seated in a cramped living room.” We were never seated in my living room for one, and for second who are you to say that it is cramped?! Where I live and how I live never should have been in the article. It has nothing to do with this story at all! I am doing the best that I can for my child. I graduated high school with my class, with a newborn baby, with no help from Duane. I have a full time job, take care of my son and make sure that he has everything that he needs in life. But, of course none of that made the paper. I look back and wish that I would have never talked to Gregor Pratt. This is Duane’s whole ordeal and not mine. I am living my life without him and raising my son without him. I don’t need my son to be link to him at all. I made the mistake by talking to the media and I will never make that mistake again! I did not know what kind of monster Duane was. I can’t change the past and I wouldn’t either. I have the most beautiful gift that anyone could have ever given me and that is my son. He is my pride in joy! I’m glad Duane walked away. That’s the best thing that he could have ever done. I now have a wonderful boyfriend of 4 years who has stepped up and has taken the role as a father to my son.
Dig a really big hole and throw some donuts in it. When these two fat azses go in to retrieve them just fill it in.
A very sad story of major dysfunction for all the people involved. Not only were these individuals toatlly messed up has human beings, but everyone around them were just as messed up. Duane should have had a vassectomy years ago if he didn't want to father any children. Sadly, there are so many folks just like Duane and his family that keep the tragic cylcle of abuse and stupidity ongoing, except that they may not murder their offspring. I hope his other chidlren are able to live as far away as their parents as they can get - this would be a great follow up story, Mr. Pratt.
Classic battered woman syndrome. This man is a monster. I hope she gets the help she needs to heal and become a whole person.
If the baby "drowed" in the toilet then it would have been born alive. Of course she wasn't getting prenatal care; that which could have prevented this in the first place. Which means he knew not only about the 4th but 3rd pregnancy. Murder if you ask me.
my classmate's sister-in-law brought home $15004 the prior month. she makes money on the internet and bought a $384500 house. All she did was get lucky and use the clues revealed on that website top of this comment
Both Tiffany and Duane Clark need to be sterilized ASAP. No way in hell should these losers have the ability to breed
Why was it necessary to recount the activities of these next door monsters in such lurid detail? This sad story of dysfunctional violence doesn't do anything to make anything better. It's not an expose that will help us stop this next time, it's just a narrative journey into pointlessness.
There's no question Duane Clark will wind up in prison, or dead long before his time. Whatever is wrong with him is the kind of thing that only gets worse. You have to wonder, "Worse than this?", but yes; worse than this. Our legal system isn't perfect, and sometimes it isn't even very good. But we must remember that our system tends to do the worst in the most sensational and outrageous cases. That's too bad, but it's far worse to legislate or enforce laws on the basis of the most extreme situations. Maybe prosecutors can't prosecute anyone in this situation. But these people flagrantly can't act right, and it doesn't look like they're suddenly going to become functional human beings. Also bear in mind they have to live every day being themselves. Nobody's getting away with anything here, in the larger sense.
So, the prosecutor sends a letter to the police department listing the reasons why they can't prosecute Duane. The prosecutor does not need to list the reasons why Duane is likely guilty, because the police already know those reasons... they're the ones who recommended it to the prosecutor. Tiffany is a completely unreliable witness, and without physical evidence, you can't convict someone of murder if you can't prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that there has even been a murder. There is no way that that standard is being met here. There's too much confusion and not enough physical evidence to prove murder. This may change in the future; some new technology may allow them to reopen the case later with more physical evidence, etc. But now Duane has a list of holes to poke in any argument the prosecutor tries to make against him in court thanks to an "anonymous" police tipster and Gregory Pratt. It is entirely possible that Duane's eventual lawyer may have overlooked a point that prosecutor listed in his response to the police. Thanks to Gregory and our friend at the police station, there is no chance of that now. Making it that much harder to successfully prosecute a wife-beating baby killer. Which is why these documents are "confidential". You can only take someone to trial for murder once. If you lose, it doesn't matter what physical evidence or new testimony comes out, you can't charge them with that murder again. So when you do it, you want to make sure you're going to win. The basis of the entire case for murder against Duane was the word of Tiffany who has every reason in the world to lie to cover herself. The prosecutor is doing their job by not taking a case they can't win in spite of political pressure. Despite the author's attempt to the contrary, the prosecutor is one of the very few people in this entire story who comes out not looking like a moron. Wish the author and the "anonymous" informant at the police department could say the same. It's not about what you believe, it's about what you can prove. So congratulations, Gregory, you've helped keep Duane out of jail, continuing to spread anger and fear. Hope it was worth it.
And that's all he needs is a great family around him use all just need to be there for him and never let that scumbag near him and make sure he has the best life ever he will always have his dna but fuck it that's not wat makes a great person its the people around him
Thanks Jessica! That really means a lot. I was shocked about the whole situation but more shocked when I found out that they werent going to prosecute them. I think it's messed up. I dont understand how someone can walk into the police station and say that there is a baby in their back yard and get away with it. It doesnt make sense to me at all!
From the ages reported it looks like Tiffany would have only been 17 also when she was first pregnant. Count your blessings- you could have been stuck with this monster.
It is porn. But I suppose it's worthwhile to remind the rest of us that all is not necessarily well around us.
There is no need to worry about my son being around him. I will NEVER let that happen. I was always worried that he might change his mind and start coming around but, I don't have to worry about that anymore. We are so much better without him. Thanks for the encouraging words, Karen. It means a lot. :)
Thanks Karen! My son is happy, I dont think he could ask for anything more. I have and will continue to give provide for my son and give him everything he needs. I couldnt have asked for a better son.
MomL, there is no way I would have stayed with that man. I dont put up with crap like that. He threatened me and my son once and that was enough for me to call the cops. No way was I go to stand for that. No one should have to put up with that.