61-year-old Eden Prairie man arrested for assisting in wife’s suicide

Eventually he admitted to being in the room and turning on the nitrogen gas.

Edgar Linares
August 20, 2018 - 5:35 pm

Courtesy of WCCO Television via Hennepin County Jail

Thomas James Houck, 61, of Eden Prairie was taken into custody last Thursday for allegedly aiding in his wife’s suicide.

On Monday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman charged Houck with a felony count of aiding in a suicide.

According to investigators, Houck called 911 at 2:20 AM on Thursday to report his wife had “euthanized herself.” He said she used nitrogen gas and was lying on her back in their bed with a plastic bag over her head. When police arrived, they found her body and a handwritten nearby saying she could “not endure any more pain.”

According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office,  Houck told different versions of the events leading up to the call to 911. Eventually, he admitted to being in the room when she put the bag over her head. He said he turned on the nitrogen gas and held the bag closed. The complaint says he later drove to a nearby store and threw away the gloves he wore during the suicide into a dumpster. Video obtained by police shows Houck and his wife purchasing the nitrogen tank together, and another shows him disposing of it after his wife's death. 

Houck was released from the Hennepin County Jail on $70,000 bail.