A southern Minnesota antiques store owner appeared in court Monday on charges that he injected a woman with a lethal drug dose, did nothing to help her, then left her body behind as he cleaned up the scene.
Troy M. Meeker, 51, of Truman, was charged last week in Martin County District Court with third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and interference with evidence in connection with the death of Mariah L. Miller, 24, whose body was found in the basement living quarters of Meeker's downtown Truman store on Aug. 19.
Meeker remains jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail. A message was left Monday with his attorney seeking a reply to the allegations.
Meeker said Miller had been living with him for about 10 days in the basement below Bullseye Antiques and that they were friends.
Another man, Dominic T. Williams, 26, of rural Welcome, Minn., has been charged as an accomplice in the death, and he remains in custody in lieu of $40,000 bail.
Three days after Miller's death from a methamphetamine overdose, the charges said, Meeker confessed to his mother in a Facebook Messenger exchange.
"They'll arrest me for 3rd degree murder," he wrote.
He then spelled out his fate, writing, "a 50-year-old many time felon with drug records shot up a 24-year-old girl ... and watched her die, and left her for 12 hours ... I'm done."
According to the charges against Meeker:
Meeker called authorities about 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 19 to report Miller's death. He told a deputy that Miller borrowed his vehicle two days earlier, returned on Aug. 18 and was "acting weird."
Officers searched the home a day after Miller's body was discovered and noted evidence of recent cleaning and clothes washing. A hypodermic needle was found about 5 feet from where Miller's body was lying.
Meeker told Williams that he and Miller had shot up drugs to the point of her overdosing. Williams saw Miller on the floor, and she showed no signs of life.
Drug investigators arranged for Williams to call Meeker in an effort to get the store owner to incriminate himself. Among other things, Meeker told Williams, "I didn't know [she] was dead."
Also, the night before Miller's body was found, Meeker told an unidentified witness that he injected Miller with drugs and put her on the floor, where she died. He also told the witness that Miller would give him sex for drugs.
The witness and Meeker spoke on Aug. 30, and the recorded conversation revealed him saying he held Miller as she died before getting rid of drugs in the home. Charges against Williams are in connection with him allegedly helping Meeker remove drugs from the residence.
A search of a mobile home in Welcome, Minn., turned up syringes, empty baggies and a pair of women's pants.