Pirus homicide case: Complaint details dating site payment, money order to Russian woman

Pirus homicide case: Complaint details dating site payment, money order to Russian woman

The man accused of killing his wife then blowing up their home to cover it up changed his story multiple times during police interviews, eventually claiming that she asked him to shoot her, according to documents filed in Dane County court Thursday.

Steven D. Pirus, 59, was charged with eight felonies in connection with an explosion last week that destroyed his Madison home, and the discovery of his wife’s body in the rubble two days later. Lee Anne Pirus had been shot in the head and was dead at least weeks before the house was destroyed, police said.

According to the criminal complaint, Steven Pirus first told police that he had last seen his wife sleeping on the couch when he left the house the day of the explosion. Later, he said he’d found her dead a few weeks earlier in a chair and that she’d shot herself. He said he’d moved her body a few days later, then blew up the house because, “I didn’t want people to think she did what she did.” After a break in the interview, Pirus told police that Lee Anne had asked him to help her kill herself, so he shot her in the head once from about two to three feet away.

Pirus homicide case: Complaint details dating site payment, money order to Russian woman

“She just finally wore me down and she just kept begging and begging and pleading with me to do that,” Pirus told police, according to the complaint.

Police said Pirus had a picture of an attractive young woman in a seductive pose on his cell phone, and that Pirus told an officer it was a Russian woman who he talks to daily, the complaint said. Police said in Pirus’ belongings in a trailer parked nearby the home, officers found a receipt for a money order paid to a woman with the same name.

Friends told police they hadn’t heard from Lee Anne in months, and that she hadn’t made any posts to her Facebook account since April 4, according to the complaint. A man interviewed by police told investigators Steven and Lee Anne were estranged.

Financial records obtained by police showed Steven Pirus had made a payment to an online dating site in May 2017, the complaint said.

The medical examiner said it appeared Lee Anne Pirus had been dead for weeks or months prior to the explosion at the Stratton Way home.

Steven Pirus is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, arson, first-degree recklessly endangering safety and five counts of mistreatment of animals. Bail was initially set Tuesday at $1 million, and the judge reaffirmed the bail in court Thursday.

Pirus homicide case: Complaint details dating site payment, money order to Russian woman

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