Suspect awaits extradition: Plea for help to dispose of body led to arrest

2001-03-17T00:00:00Z Suspect awaits extradition: Plea for help to dispose of body led to arrestBy KRISTIN BUEHNER, Of The Globe Gazette Mason City Globe Gazette

MASON CITY - A Minnesota woman charged with murdering her daughter and hiding her partially dismembered body in the trunk of her car remained in the Cerro Gordo County Jail Friday awaiting extradition.

Julie Mae Terrell, 36, of Madison Lake, Minn., appeared before a magistrate Friday, Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals said. She is being held without bond.

Terrell faces charges in Minnesota of second-degree murder in the March 1 shooting death of her 16-year-old daughter Lauralee Eve Terrell. No new charges were filed Friday against Terrell, Pals said. Bail of $250,000 was set for Terrell Friday in Blue Earth County, Minn., District Court.

A public defender was appointed to represent her.

Terrell also was wanted for probation violation in connection with a charge of driving while intoxicated, Pals said.

A detailed report from Blue Earth Sheriff's Deputy Jerry Billiar involving the circumstances leading up to Terrell's arrest was included in a complaint filed Friday in Blue Earth County District Court.

The complaint document includes the following information:

On March 14, Billiar and James Bakos, an agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, received a telephone call from the LeSueur County Sheriff's Department notifying them that one of the clients of a state probation officer had reported assisting a friend in disposing of a human body.

The probation agent was instructed to have the informant contact the sheriff's department immediately.

Approximately 15 minutes later, Billiar received a telephone call from Michael Scott Hansen, 35, who said his friend was Julie Mae Terrell and that she had contacted him by phone March 9 or 10 saying, "Something terrible happened and I need your help getting rid of a body."

Hansen told Billiar that Terrell told him she had gotten into an argument with her daughter, Lauralee Eve, and that her daughter had confronted her with a shotgun. Terrell told Hansen that while the two wrestled for the gun it went off, accidentally killing Lauralee. Hansen said Terrell told him she had placed her daughter's body in the trunk of her vehicle.

Hansen said he received a telephone call from Terrell Wednesday afternoon from a cellular phone. Terrell said she still needed help to get rid of the body of her daughter and asked Hansen to come to 121 Fourth St. N.W. in Mason City, where her vehicle was located.

Hansen told the sheriff's officer that Lauralee Terrell had been employed at Pet Expo in Mankato, Minn.

Billiar and BCA agent Brian Marquardt talked with Pet Expo assistant manager David C. Schultz Wednesday afternoon. Schultz told them that Lauralee Terrell was an employee but had not reported for work recently and had not come by to pick up her March 1 paycheck.

Lauralee Terrell was ordinarily prompt and never missed an occasion to pick up her check, Schultz said, adding he had tried to contact Lauralee at her residence Sunday, March 11, but was told by an adult male who answered the phone that she would not be coming in for work.

BCA agent Robert Berg and Blue Earth Sheriff's Capt. Will Purvis obtained a search warrant to get information regarding the cell phone calls Hansen reported and the records confirmed the calls were made.

Hansen said he was about to leave for Mason City and told officers he had agreed to help her dispose of the body. Hanson did so with the approval of Blue Earth County law enforcement officers, who also went to Mason City.

Minnesota officers contacted Mason City police, who reported the vehicle with a Minnesota license plate outside 121 Fourth St. N.W. Mason City police maintained surveillance of the vehicle until Purvis, Bakos and Berg arrived.

A warrant to search the vehicle was obtained in Cerro Gordo County District Court and while executing the warrant shortly after noon Thursday, Mason City police found the decomposed body of Lauralee Terrell in the trunk.

Julie Terrell was arrested and confronted with information about the absence of her daughter from Minnesota, Purvis reported. She told him her daughter had confronted her March 1 with a shotgun while she was in bed at their residence in Madison Lake. An argument ensued and Lauralee was shot.

Julie Terrell told Purvis she did not remember how she was able to wrest the shotgun from her daughter and that she could only remember hearing the loud blast which struck Lauralee in the face.

Terrell said the shotgun was left at her Madison Lake residence. Terrell told Purvis she used a saw to cut off her daughter's legs, wrapped Lauralee in a blanket and put her in the trunk of the vehicle Terrell drove to Mason City.

MINNESOTA authorities, who had hoped an autopsy would be completed Friday night, now say it will not be completed until early next week.

Staff at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office in St. Paul used dental records to positively identify the body.

The staff of the Mankato Free Press in Mankato, Minn., contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 Mason City Globe Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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