The woman charged with helping her husband dispose of their teenage babysitter’s dead body revealed the extent of their relationship with the girl before her death, including their varied drug use and group sex sessions.
Dea Millerberg testified in a Salt Lake City courtroom on Monday about the death of 16-year-old Alexis Rasmussen, the girl that she and her husband Eric had used as a babysitter but then became friends with, involving her in drugs and underage sex.
Months after the September 10 death of Alexis, the Millerbergs were charged for their involvement in her death and Mrs Millerberg testified against her husband in court on Monday after receiving immunity for any direct involvement with the girl’s death.
Accomplice: Dea Millerberg, seen here in an earlier court appearance, discussed how she helped her husband Eric dispose of Alexis Rasmussen's body
Corrupted: Alexis Rasmussen, 16, reportedly asked the Millerbergs how to get meth and they started smoking the drug, along with heroin and marijuana, with the girl
Mrs Millerberg faces one third-degree felony charge relating to the disposal of Alexis’ body, but prosecutors have called her overall involvement ‘minimal’ as compared to Mr Millerberg’s, as he faces charges of child abuse homicide, unlawful sex with a minor, the disposal of the body and obstruction of justice.
The 39-year-old, who filed for divorce from her husband after they were charged with the death of Alexis, told the torrid story of how the couple befriended and corrupted the young girl in the months leading up to her death.
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Mrs Millerberg said that they started using Alexis- or Lexi as she called her- as a babysitter for their two daughters in the spring of 2011.
They became friends and started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with the teen before Alexis began requesting that they try harder drugs like methamphetamine and heroin.
Serious charges: Eric Millerberg, 36, is charged with far more involvement than his wife, and is said to be the one who actually killed the girl by injecting her with drugs
Dark side: During her testimony, Dea Millerberg said that Alexis asked the couple if she could have sex with them in August- a month before she died- and also requested to be paid with meth instead of cash
Eventually they began paying Alexis in meth, and 36-year-old Mr Millerberg even showed her how to smoke it out of a lightbulb.
One of their most raucous nights as a group came in August, a month before her death, when Alexis reportedly asked to become sexually involved with the married couple.
'Eric and I started kissing and having sex. Then Alexis jumped in,' Mrs Millerberg told the court.
On the fateful night of September 10, the couple wanted Alexis to babysit because they were going to go shopping for their daughter’s birthday. Neither babysitting nor shopping ended up happening.
As soon as Alexis arrived at the house, Mr Millerberg helped her get high by injecting her with drugs- once with heroin and twice with meth- into her arm and neck.
Then, when she was ‘as high as she had ever been’, she and her husband performed oral sex on one another. Mrs Millerberg says that she was not involved in the encounter.
Trouble: At the time of Alexis' death, Eric Millerberg was on parole for prior burglary and firearm charges, and he was also known to be part of the Silent Aryan Warriors, a white supremacist prison gang
Help: Police reportedly received a confidential tip about the whereabouts of Alexis' body by members of Eric Millerberg's gang
A short while later, the drugs had a negative effect on the teen and she started ‘freaking out’. She reportedly felt disoriented and cold, so she asked if she could take a warm bath in the couple’s master bathroom.
After leaving her alone in the bath at her request, the Millerbergs checked on her about 45 minutes later to find that she was still cold, so Mrs Millerberg wrapped her in a blanket and told her to lie down in another bedroom.
Found: A full autopsy could not be performed because Alexis' body was so decomposed, but significant traces of heroin and meth were in her system
The couple left her to go smoke some cigarettes, and returned about a half hour later to find her unresponsive.
‘She wasn't breathing. She had mucousy stuff coming out of the right side of her mouth,’ said Mrs Millerberg, who was a licensed nurse and tried to resuscitate the girl to no avail.
They then tried to figure out what to do next.
‘It really was a panic. The idea of it was, we will lose our kids and go to jail, and there was nothing we could do to bring her back,’ she told the court.
Mr Millerberg was on parole at the time for prior burglary and firearm charges, and he was also known to be part of the Silent Aryan Warriors, a white supremacist prison gang.
Mrs Millerberg, who also had outstanding court dates due to her involvement with two unrelated prescription drug fraud and child endangerment cases, says that she dressed the then-naked body of Alexis and put it into a foot locker which the couple moved into a box in the trunk of their car.
Leaving their 6-year-old daughter at home but taking their toddler with them, they 'drove all over the place' disposing of any evidence that may connect them to the crime.
They dumped her body in a remote area of Morgan County where Mr Millerberg covered it with brush and shrubs so that it was hidden. Police only found it six weeks after Alexis’ death with the help of a confidential tip from one of Mr Millerberg’s gang members.
Moving on to the remaining evidence, they left Alexis' purse in one dumpster with the box that had held the body, then drove to a different dumpster where they left the carpet from the car 'in case there was any evidence on it'.
Facing trial: Eric Millerberg is in prison awaiting trial and Dea Millerberg (right) is free on bail
Spot: The couple- along with their toddler- drove around extensively disposing of Alexis' body and all evidence. She was found here in Morgan County six weeks after her death
After filing for divorce from Mr Millerberg in February, Mrs Millerberg is free on bail but police say that she will ‘not get a walk on all of (her) charges’.
So far, police officials seem to agree with Mrs Millerberg’s version of events though a full autopsy could not be completed because of the decomposition of the body. The state medical examiner did conclude that there was a serious amount of meth and heroin in the girl’s body at her time of death.
‘Drugs are dangerous and unpredictable. Every time you use drugs there is a chance of death,’ said medical examiner Dr Joseph White.
Prosecutor Chris Shaw included the other charges against Mr Millerberg in his assessment, saying: ‘After a lengthy period of drug use ... and sexual misconduct, she died.’
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