Utah Woman Gets Five Years for Helping Dump Babysitter’s Body

By Paul Gaita 08/26/14

Dea Millerberg was sentenced last week for her 'depraved' actions in the Alexis Rasmussen case.

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In the case of Alexis Rasmussen’s death, many of the facts regarding Dea Millerberg’s involvement were clear: the Utah resident and her husband, Eric Millerberg, had employed the 16-year-old as a babysitter and provided the girl with an array of drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine, while engaging in a sexual relationship.

On September 10, 2011, Eric Millerberg injected himself, his wife, and Rasmussen with the aforementioned substances, which led to the babysitter's death from an overdose. The girl’s badly decomposed body was found in a shallow grave a month later, which led to an investigation into the couple’s involvement.

Eric Millerberg was eventually convicted of three felonies, including desecration of a human body, and received the maximum sentence of six years to life. The question that remained in the case was the degree to which Dea Millenberg was involved in the disposal of Rasmussen’s body. On August 21, a state judge in Utah provided the answer by sentencing her to five years in prison.

Millerberg’s attorney had asked for probation, citing the fact that she had agreed to testify against her husband, despite death threats he levied against her, and that she had led a relatively clean life in the three years after Rasmussen’s death. She had suffered from drug and alcohol addiction issues since her early teens, and had endured abuse at the hands of both Eric Millerberg and a previous husband.

The defense attempted to portray Millerberg as a model case of recovery, having regained custody of her children in the wake of her husband’s sentencing. But prosecutors were quick to note that Millerberg was using drugs with her husband prior to and at the time of Rasmussen’s death, and was an active participant in the disposal of the girl’s body, rather than an innocent bystander. With their six-year-old daughter at home and their baby in the car, the couple drove Rasmussen’s body to a remote wooded area for burial.

In his closing statements, Judge W. Brent West called Millerberg’s actions heinous and depraved, and added that he would have handed down a harsher sentence had she not agreed to testify against her husband. “She lost all her common sense, and was not in a position to help Alexis when she needed her the most,” West said.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.