ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 49-year-old St. Paul man is facing murder charges after a severely decomposed body was found inside a garage on the city’s east side last week.
John Michael Erickson was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the incident.
Police were called to a residence on the 600 block of Lawson Avenue at about 3 p.m. Friday. When officers arrived, they found the body of an adult male. The body was later identified as 47-year-old Allan Bishara Aguilar of St. Paul.
Erickson was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. Patricia Dawn Yucker, 47, was also arrested on suspicion of interfering with a dead body. St. Paul police say the body was so badly decomposed that authorities had difficulty identifying the victim.
According to the charges, friends of Aguilar spoke with officers and said he had been missing for several weeks. He was last seen alive on June 13.
The complaint states Erickson always had his garage door open and it was a place for neighbors and friends to gather. The garage door had been shut since Aguilar had gone missing, and nobody was allowed in. Neighbors say Erickson’s behavior had also changed and they had heard him threatening to shoot Aguilar if he ever saw Aguilar again.
The complaint states friends forced their way into Erickson’s residence, and found a decomposing body covered in several layers of plastic bedding and hidden under debris. The body was identified as Aguilar, and authorities noticed a baseball bat was being used to keep the garage door open.
Officers went inside the residence and found Erickson sleeping. They woke him up and took him outside, and he repeatedly kept swearing.
The complaint states a neighbor talked with police when the body was discovered and said he was talking with Erickson a few days earlier. The neighbor said he noticed a lot of flies in the area and noticed a smell, but Erickson told him he had recently buried a dog. Erickson then told the neighbor he had a coffin inside the garage, but the neighbor assumed he was speaking while under the influence of alcohol.
The complaint states the same neighbor went into the garage with Erickson on July 10 and noticed a “real strong smell,” but didn’t say anything. The neighbor recognized the smell as a carcass after previously working at a slaughterhouse.
Another neighbor spoke with police and said she had a weird encounter with Erickson on June 27 or June 29. She came home and found him crying outside his residence. He said “I did something really bad.” He was drunk at the time, and she went home.
The complaint states Erickson spoke with police and talked of a neighbor across the street who dealt meth and was in his garage early one morning. He told police he allowed a neighbor to work on cars in his garage, discovered half of his tools were missing and confronted his neighbor. The neighbor blamed Aguilar. Erickson confronted Aguilar and told him he wanted his tools and car out of the garage.
The complaint states Erickson said he heard something in his garage a week later. He went in with his dog and when he went by the circuit breaker to turn the lights on, he was hit by a bat. He wrestled with the man and grabbed a metal jack from his tool bench. He told police he was fighting for his life and his family, hitting the man four to five times because he would not stay down.
The complaint states Erickson told police he didn’t know what to do because he had just killed a man and had a stolen car in his garage. He put the man in plastic and rolled him to the corner. He told police the incident happened four to six weeks earlier and was hoping maggots would take care of the body because he didn’t know what to do with it. He claimed the next morning he recognized the man as Aguilar.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined Aguilar had several skull fractures and died from head trauma. An investigation shows Erickson has three previous felony convictions for failing to register as a predatory offender, terroristic threats and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
If convicted, Erickson faces up to 80 years in jail.