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Two Racine men arrested Thursday after police found a dead body behind a North Memorial Drive residence were charged Friday in Racine County Circuit Court with a felony charge of hiding a corpse.

Hiding a corpse
Hurdis Burns
Hididng a corpse
Marco A. Verdiguel

Marco A. Verdiguel-Huarota, 53, and Hurdis H. Burns, 59, both face a fine of $25,000 and 12 years, six months in prison if they’re convicted. The two were arrested Thursday when a woman later identified as Veronica Estes, 35, was found dead near a picnic table in the backyard of 1022 N. Memorial Drive.

Police are continuing to investigate Estes’s death.

According to the criminal complaint:
Verdiguel-Huarota told police that on May 8, he stopped to give a female assistance on North Memorial Drive and took her to Burns’ house at 1026 N. Memorial Drive. Verdiguel-Huarota and the female went to the basement, where he said they spent time talking before she fell asleep.

The next day, the two defendants returned to the basement, and on Thursday, Burns told the other defendant he thought the woman had died. At that point, they wrapped her in a blanket, carried her next door to an abandoned house and placed her on the porch.

Burns told police the woman and Verdiguel-Huarota asked for drugs, and he supplied them with crack cocaine. During the early morning hours of May 9, Burns said he saw Verdiguel-Hurarota and the woman having sex in the basement. At about 10 a.m., he purchased $20 of heroin and gave it to the woman, but didn’t see her use it.

Verdiguel-Huarota stated later he decided to call the police, which he wanted to do originally, but said he was convinced not to by Burns.

They will return to court for a preliminary hearing May 17 at 9 a.m.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.