A 32-year-old man from Galveston, Texas, admitted Friday after police came to search his home that he had killed his ex-wife, 30-year-old Anne-Christine Johnson, with whom he had an autistic child.
Johnson, a mother of two, had been missing since Dec. 8, and when she was found dead and hidden in a garage she was wearing Christmas pajamas, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Upon being visited by police, Shaun Hardy, 32, broke down, cried and admitted that he “wanted to see” Johnson die.
League City Police executed a search warrant after tracing Johnson’s phone to Hardy’s home and noticed a “strong odor of decaying flesh” coming from the garage.
There they found a grisly scene.
It was Johnson’s body covered in plastic, duct taped and surrounded by scented candles that were apparently used to hide the smell of decaying corpse.
After initially refusing to talk, Hardy admitted that he threw Johnson on the ground, put a knife to her chest, kicked it in and suffocated her with a bag to put her “out of her misery.”
Hardy and Johnson were divorced in 2015. There were two major components of that divorce: the custody of the couple’s 5-year-old autistic child and allegations of serious domestic abuse.
“Shaun Philip Hardy’s violent behavior against me has gotten so bad that he has assaulted me with a shotgun, threatened me with a knife, and choked me,” Johnson wrote when filing a protective order back then. “I am afraid that without this protective order, Shaun Philip Hardy will continue to hurt me or even kill me in the future.”
A picture of Johnson with marks on her face and neck was also shared as proof of abuse.
A neighbor told KHOU she noticed Hardy acting differently in recent weeks.
“He always had his garage open,” Lorenz Yasa said. “And then, lately, he had it closed.”
Stephanie Johnson, Anne-Christine’s mother, is still trying to make sense of it all.
“I’ve been told by everyone else who’s gone through this situation that when you find a body, at least you know what’s happened, and you have some closure,” she told KHOU. “I just feel like that’s not true.”
“I firmly believe she would be alive if she hadn’t kept going back to try to protect the 5-year-old autistic child,“ Johnson told ABC News 10. “If you’re an abused woman watching this, or a family member of an abused woman watching this, even if it’s just psychological or verbal, which is how it starts out, get the hell away from that person.”
Shaun Hardy has been charged with felony tampering with evidence and murder.
He is being held at the Galveston County Jail on $500,000 bond.