A Maple Grove man has been charged with the murder of his 28-year-old wife, who he allegedly strangled before burying her in their home's crawl space.
Joshua Fury, also 28, has been charged with 2nd-degree murder in the death of his wife, Maria, whose body was found at their home on Red Fox Drive early Saturday.
Warning: This story contains upsetting details.
She had been reported missing by Fury on Thursday afternoon. He told police he returned home from work to find her gone but her phone still in the house – saying when he left that morning she'd been planning on taking a walk with her mother.
He said he'd looked for her along her usual walking route, with police conducting a much larger search the next day including use of a helicopter.
Per the criminal complaint, Joshua Fury "appeared genuinely concerned" for his wife's welfare, but as police investigated, they learned that the Furys had been having marital problems and that Maria had intended to leave her husband.
Police carried out a search of their home with sniffer dogs, and found human remains in the crawl space beneath the house.
It took several hours to remove the body, later finding it to be Maria's, whose death was determined to have been caused by "asphyxiation from duct tape and a plastic bag placed directly over Victim’s mouth and nose," which police say was still in place when her body was found.
There was also trauma to her neck, but it didn't appear to be broken.
Prior to his arrest, Joshua Fury gave several statements denying harming his wife, and tried to blame her ex-boyfriend.
After arrest, he admitted to killing her and burying her body on the morning of Thursday, Apr. 30.
He said he strangled her during an argument about his wife leaving him, before placing a plastic bag over her head and nose until her "death breathing" stopped.
He then dug a hole in the crawl space, put her body in and filled it up, before going to work.
He claims he suffers from depression and attempted to commit suicide after killing his wife.
Statement from the Maria Pew Family
Maria Pew is a victim of a horrific, unthinkable crime. But we will not allow her to be remembered that way; Maria would hate it if the world saw her as a victim. Maria was so much more. She was our daughter, our niece, our cousin, our friend; she loved her family and was fiercely loyal. A happy, strong, resilient, supportive, and caring individual, Maria did so much in her 28 years.
But she also left behind hopes and dreams, and she left undone infinite possibilities.
Maria was a desired child. She was welcomed as an infant, adopted from Mexico City, into a large loving family with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and two adoring loving parents, all whom she deeply loved in return. Maria was an intense feeler. As a multicultural person with a beyond white perspective, she was someone who saw the world from the other's perspective.
This approach framed her intolerance for the unnecessary, her dislike of phony, allowing her to be content with who she was, and not concerned about how others may see her.
Maria was a cheerleader, literally and figuratively. She was a cum laude college graduate, an exercise queen, and a big eater of little portions. She was someone who noticed clouds, sea shells, waves, and sand, but could trip over the biggest object in a room.
A believer in change and redemption, Maria always helped fix other’s broken wings; she was hopeful and always optimistic. Maria was quirky with a dry sense of humor, resulting in hundreds of funny stories that will forever make us smile.
A dog, a horse, and an all around animal lover, Maria was a girl who kept toys for her “little wiggle butt”, her 90 pound black lab, in a Victoria’s Secret tote, and wrapped him up in her “Vicky blanket”. After being taught how to ride a horse by her dad, Maria rode “Buddy Buck Snipe”, an old fat horse who barely moved for anyone else but her. With Maria on his back, he was a slim and fast gelding. Maria’s dad also taught her to water ski, wake board, fish, hunt, ride a snowmobile, snowboard, drive a large truck safely in Minnesota winters, and cross country ski.
At the age of 2 1⁄2 years, her dad was certain Maria would be the first Mexican-American Olympic gold medalist on the U.S. cross country ski team. Maria was a striver, an achiever, a pusher, a problem solver, and a doer; always putting those attributes to use. Maria did not need or want a big life. She wanted a small and personal life, with just a few in it, to whom she gave her love to intensely. She was private and introverted at times, yet always smiling, generous, warm and welcoming. Her ability to be in the moment, to just experience a new joy, was a remarkable trait about Maria.
A friend once said that Maria was loved and cared for by two people who could not possibly love her more. Maria’s mom and dad loved watching her walk into a room, or pick up the phone when she called. She’d always say, “Hi guys. How’s work? How are you doing?” She would end the conversation by telling them that she loved them, and they would always say that they loved her too. At the start of Covid-19, Maria often told her parents “Mom and Dad, you need to be careful. I can’t lose you.”
Maria’s mom and dad never thought they would lose her. They thought she would be there to hold their hand when it was their time to pass. Instead today, Maria’s dad talked to both the medical examiner and the funeral home, managing unthinkable details for his only child.
In an effort to change the ending of Maria’s story for other women, we ask that you please consider supporting Cornerstone Advocacy Services’ safe housing program.
If we can change the outcome for at least one woman, Maria would be so proud and honored. A link has been set up to donate in honor of “Maria’s Voice”: https://www.mightycause.com/story/Mariapew Learn more about Cornerstone here: https://www.cornerstonemn.org/ .
We would like to thank the Maple Grove Police Department for their swift action in finding Maria. They devoted extensive resources, all the while demonstrating extreme professionalism and compassion. We are grateful for their expertise and kind manner during an excruciatingly difficult time. Mostly, we thank these first responders for treating Maria as if she were their missing child.
Thank you to our entire community for your incredible outpouring of love and support.
With peace and hope,
The Pew and Weimelt Families