After suspect's arrest, loved ones remember victim of 1993 Minneapolis murder

Amber Childs has just a few memories of her step mom, Jeanne Childs. Amber was barely four years old when Jeanne was brutally stabbed to death in her south Minneapolis apartment in June 1993.

“I do remember she tucked me in when I was a little girl,” Amber said. “She was mom to me, obviously. She was my mother once upon a time.”

Now, decades later, Minneapolis police announced that through DNA evidence obtained at the crime scene, they were able to make an arrest in Jeanne Childs’ murder.

“It’s just dramatic. It’s a big deal,” she said.

Amber’s father, Alfred - now 84 years old - was married to Jeanne, but separated from her at the time of the murder.

“It took me to the ‘Twilight Zone.’ It was really something else. Nothing was right after that… everything was gone,” he said.

The pair, along with Jeanne’s mother, had their world rocked with the arrest 26 years later.

A 52-year-old suspect from north of the metro is now in jail thanks to investigators who never gave up on the case, DNA evidence and online genealogy data.

Authorities said he is a locally-known businessman in the Cambridge-Isanti area who once owned a pair of gas stations and appliance store. His listed home address sits just two miles from where Jeanne Childs is buried in the Long Lake Lutheran Church Cemetery.

“It would be nice to know exactly what happened, why this happened. It’s just confusing, so many questions that need answers,” Amber said.

The extended family, who has lived in the Cambridge-Isanti area through the years, personally know the suspect from hockey and other circles. However, authorities insisted that when this attack occurred there was no prior relationship between the woman and her killer.

Prosecutors have to decide by Thursday if there is enough evidence to support charges in the case.