New information: Newborn found murdered in Eau Claire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New information: Newborn found murdered in Eau Claire


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Police are investigating the death of a newborn baby and are calling it a homicide. They say a 15-year-old Eau Claire girl gave birth to the baby after being sexually abused for years, and they found out about it when she ended up in the hospital the night of the birth. 

"There are two specific events that took place. There was the sexual assault of her that took place over a repeated course of time and then there was the death of the infant," says Lt. Jim Southworth of the Eau Claire Police Department.

Police say Larry Johnson of Eau Claire repeatedly sexually assaulted a young girl.

"Mr. Johnson confirmed during an interview with us that he has had sexual contact and relations with this girl from the age of 11 to 15-years-old," says Southworth.

Investigators say that girl became pregnant and Johnson admitted he was the father. The teen gave birth to a baby girl last week in her bathroom in Eau Claire.  

That same day, family members brought the teen to the emergency room at Sacred Heart Hospital after she had complications from giving birth. Police went to her residence and found the baby dead. They say an autopsy showed the newborn died of asphyxiation or suffocation.

"It was an act that occurred, a homicidal act which caused the asphyxiation which then caused the death," says Southworth.

Police would not elaborate beyond that but say Johnson is not a murder suspect. They believe the teenaged girl was involved.

Adds Southworth, "This is a case that you do not see very often with all the different uniqueness of it and the different facets that are involved in it.  It is very, very sad that we have to see a case like this. You just hope that the victims in the case can end up getting all the help that they need."

The name of the teenager who gave birth is not being released. Police say she is not in custody, but a petition has been filed against her in juvenile court meaning she could face charges there.

Johnson was in court Friday on the sexual assault charges. He's being held on $20,000. 

Johnson is a convicted sex offender. He has also been charged with failing to notify authorities when he moved, something he must do as a convicted sex offender.


Eau Claire (Press Release) - At 11:16 p.m. on August 28, 2013 Eau Claire Police responded to Sacred Heart Hospital for a report of a 15-year-old female presenting with complications from childbirth.

It was determined that the birth occurred at an Eau Claire residence. The infant was located at this residence and was deceased.

Members of the Eau Claire Police Department Patrol Division, Detective Division, and Crime Scene Unit immediately began working on the investigation.

A forensic examination of the deceased infant was conducted at the University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. The forensic examination determined the infant was near full term, born alive, and was female. It was also determined the infant died as a result of homicidal actions.

During the investigation Eau Claire Police Detectives learned that the 15-year-old female had been repeatedly sexually assaulted for several years. The suspect of these assaults has been identified as: Larry L. Johnson Date of Birth: 07/07/65

During an interview with Eau Claire Police Detectives, Johnson admitted to having repeatedly sexually assaulted the 15-year-old female over the course of several years. Johnson also stated he believed he was the biological father of the deceased infant.

Johnson is currently incarcerated at the Eau Claire County Jail.

Larry L. Johnson has been charged with the following crimes:

• Repeated Acts of Sexual Assault of the Same Child

• First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child

A petition has been filed in juvenile court regarding the 15-year-old female's involvement in the homicide of the infant. The 15-year-old female is not being identified and the investigation into this matter continues.

We'll have more on this story tonight at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

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