New drug charges not related to Alexis Rasmussen's death, attorney says

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 16 2011 6:20 p.m. MST

OGDEN — New drug charges filed this week against a woman named as a "person of interest" in the death and disappearance of 16-year-old Alexis Rasmussen do not appear to be connected to the teenager.

Dea Millerberg, 38, appeared in 2nd District Court Wednesday for endangerment of a child or a vulnerable adult, a third-degree felony. After the hearing, defense attorney Michael Bouwhuis said the charge appears to be related to Millerberg's children.  

"It's an initial appearance, we don't have anything yet, but I believe it was based on a hair follicle test that was done on at least one of the children in (Millerberg's) home, and they got results back showing the child was exposed to drugs," Bouwhuis said.

The Division of Child and Family Services would have taken the hair sample after taking the children from their parents, who were each facing drug charges, the attorney said.

Dea Millerberg is also facing two counts of falsely obtaining or dispensing of a prescription, a third-degree felony, in connection with incidents in May and July of this year. Her husband, Eric Millerberg, was sentenced to zero to five years in prison on Oct. 25 for a drug-related probation violation.

Bouwhuis said that while the new charge itself has nothing to do with Rasmussen, it was filed as part of the ongoing investigation into the Millerbergs in connection with the teen's death.

"Really, what's kind of driving all this is the investigation in the other case, with Alexis," Bouwhuis said.

He continues to anticipate that charges stemming from Rasmussen's death will be filed against Dea and Eric Millerberg as "nothing has happened to change" what he has previously been told. He also pointed out that his client remains one of the two people being "targeted" in the investigation.

Still, he said Dea Millerberg is adamant that she was not responsible.

"She denies causing the death of Alexis Rasmussen, he said. "That's all I can tell you."

Dea and Eric Millerberg have been called persons of interest in Rasmussen's death. The North Ogden girl was last seen the night of Sept. 10, when she was babysitting the couple's two young daughters. Her body was found Oct. 18 in Morgan County.

Bouwhuis said the Weber County Attorney's Office is still awaiting a final report from the medical examiner, but prosecutors have said they are treating the case as a homicide.

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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