MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minneapolis police announced Tuesday they arrested a suspect in the murder of north Minneapolis community activist and artist Susan Spiller, who was found dead in her home in 2015. Police said the suspect was 14 years old at the time of the crime.
On the morning of July 16, 2015, officers found the 68-year-old dead in her home on the 5100 block of Dupont Avenue North. The medical examiner determined she died of homicidal violence, meaning her murder was especially brutal. Her friends remember her as dedicated to the community.
"She was kind, generous and always giving to anyone who ever met her,” said Duane Atter, a friend.
The suspect is an 18-year-old man who was 14 at the time of the murder. Because he was a juvenile when he allegedly committed the crime, police are not releasing any more information regarding his identity.
Detectives said the break in the case came after the suspect turned 18 and his fingerprints - taken in an unrelated case - became available. Fingerprints taken from the scene of Spiller’s murder were found to match the suspect's.
The suspect has been charged with second-degree murder in juvenile court. He is currently in custody at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center, although he is currently an adult.
Spiller's friends are now grappling with the fact a minor is the suspect in her murder.
"But now I have grief for this kid," said Connie Beckers, a friend. "What was going on in his world that he was capable of something like this?"
The suspect made his first court appearance on Tuesday. Police have filed a motion to have him stand trial as an adult.
Police do not believe there are any other suspects involved in the case.