By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
The prosecutor notes the "significant" fact that the Clark children described "mutual" abuse between their parents, rightly pointing out that the Crystal city attorney charged both Clarks for the domestic dispute in early March. But Townsend ignores that the city attorney dropped charges against Tiffany.
That doesn't take into account the similar accounts of abuse Trisha Jean Johnson gave to investigators, the threat against Laue and her child, or Duane's potential motivation for not wanting children: financial problems, which would have been exacerbated by a fourth child (third with Tiffany).
Townsend focuses on what she characterizes as a "powerful motivation" for Tiffany to fabricate her story about the forced miscarriage: sadness over Duane leaving her for Trisha Jean Johnson, evidenced by computer files where Tiffany laments her husband's absence.
By contrast, Townsend devotes no space to Duane's motivations for either not wanting the child or for turning himself in to police, which cops suggested during their interrogation could've been an attempt to gain custody of the children or pre-empt domestic assault charges.
In saying Tiffany's version can't be corroborated, Townsend glosses over the fact that Duane Clark's laptop was used in July 2008, a month before the baby was born, to access Planned Parenthood's website, which police believe supports Tiffany's assertions. Her denial also skims over the fact that someone used Duane's computer to Google: "in mn if you don't report a birth and death of a child is the leagal action."
Duane Clark declined to be interviewed for this story. Tiffany Clark did not return messages seeking an interview and her stepfather, John Ruhland, said he would advise her not to comment. Her mother did not return numerous messages.
Although Duane and Tiffany made radically different statements to police investigators about the fate of their third child, they agreed on one point: that the baby was a boy.
DNA testing, ordered by the county attorney's office, confirmed that the baby was Duane and Tiffany Clark's. It also showed that the baby buried in the backyard was actually a girl.