After woman's death in Eden Prairie, husband charged with assisting suicide

The 61-year-old told police his wife was in pain and medication didn't help.
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Cascade Drive, Eden Praire

Her death was reported on Cascade Drive, Eden Prairie.

The woman whose death was reported in Eden Prairie on Friday died from suicide, and her husband has been charged with helping her do it.

Thomas Houck, 61, is facing a charge of aiding suicide after he called police to inform them his wife had died at 2:20 a.m. at their home on the 18000 block of Cascade Drive.

According to the complaint, Houck told dispatchers his wife had "euthanized herself" using nitrogen gas.

When police arrived, they found her dead with a handwritten note next to her saying "she could not endure any more pain and needed a way out," the criminal complaint says.

Houck initially told police that he woke in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and found his wife had died, reporting that she'd been in a lot of pain and medication was helping.

He then admitted to having previously helped her search for suicide methods, and said he accompanied her to the store as she bought the nitrogen and disposed of the receipts.

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But in a post-Miranda statement, he then told officers he'd helped his wife prepare for her death, and in fact turned on the nitrogen gas.

"The Defendant reported he knew what he did was wrong and illegal so he wore gloves during the incident and when it was over, drove to a nearby store and disposed of the gloves and some other items that he did not specify," the complaint adds.

Assisting suicide carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and a fine of $30,000.

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