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Man Who Reported His Wife Missing Now Admits He Suffocated Her in ‘Tortuous and Inhumane’ Murder

Joshua David Fury

A Minnesota man has admitted in court that he killed his wife.

Joshua David Fury, 28, pleaded guilty in the murder of Maria Pew, 28, said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. According to the prosecutor, Fury admitted Tuesday that he got into an argument with his wife, grabbed her neck, and choked her until he heard a snap.

From the press release:

Fury proceeded to tell the court how his wife was still breathing as she lay on the floor, and that he took a plastic bag, placed it over her head and duct taped it, causing her to suffocate.

Prosecutors described the murder as “tortuous and inhumane.”

Fury confessed that he attempted to hide Maria’s death. He buried her in a grave three-feet deep, then reported her missing.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendant initially claimed that Pew was speaking to her mother and said she was going for a walk. In this account, Fury returned home, and the victim wasn’t there, though her cell phone was on the kitchen counter. He called the police when he couldn’t find her.

Cops launched a search effort, but their investigation revealed that couple had been having problems:

[Police] spoke to friends and family, who indicated that Defendant and Victim were having marital problems. Others described Defendant as controlling and possessive. Victim’s mother told officers that Victim intended to leave Defendant.

Police executed a search warrant at the couple’s home. K-9s detected human remains “in a lower-level crawl space with a dirt floor covered in plastic.” A second search warrant granted cops access to the crawl space, where they found Maria Pew’s body.

According to authorities, Fury tried to blame the murder on his wife’s ex-boyfriend. That story changed after he was arrested and Mirandized: He’s now admitted to the murder.

The D.A.’s office said that the couple had been having problems before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the state’s stay-at-home order and the disease added “frustration” on top of that. This “may have contributed to the murder,” and the couple had been arguing about COVID-19 in the days before her death, they said.

Fury is set to be sentenced July 31 on a count of intentional second-degree murder. He is expected to get 38 years in prison, which is 12.5 years more than the presumptive guideline sentencing, prosecutors said.

“Her funny observations, sparkling eyes and big smile, gentleness and unwavering love live forever,” stated Maria Pew’s June 7 obituary in The Star Tribune. “Maria was a bit magical, a bit ethereal. In her world, she saw spirits and angels. Maria was always herself, an observer, real in each moment, quietly true to her feelings. At 28, Maria said she was so proud she was a work in progress! There is no bottom to missing her.”

Pew’s family has asked that people donate to a housing program meant for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. From statement published by KARE11 in a May 5 report:

In an effort to change the ending of Maria’s story for other women, we ask that you please consider supporting Cornerstone Advocacy Services’ safe housing program. If we can change the outcome for at least one woman, Maria would be so proud and honored. A link has been set up to donate in honor of “Maria’s Voice”: https://www.mightycause.com/story/Mariapew . Learn more about Cornerstone here: https://www.cornerstonemn.org/.

[Mugshot via Hennepin County Jail]

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