ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Police in St. Paul, Minnesota say they have one man in custody after a woman was found dead in her home on the city's east side.
Authorities responded to the call around 7 a.m. at an apartment on the 1500 block of East Jessamine Lane, where 39-year-old woman was found dead inside.
“When they arrived, things didn’t seem quite right, so they started investigating,” said Steve Linders, spokesperson with St. Paul Police. “We have our forensic services out here and we have our homicide. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner was out at the scene and they’re working the case to figure out how the person died."
Linders also said authorities learned a juvenile had been sexually assaulted in the home.
Police say the suspect was known to both the victim of the sexual assault and the deceased. He has been identified as Ivan Dan Walker, 33, of East St. Louis, Illinois. He was arrested for kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct. Walker is also being investigated as a person of interest in the ongoing homicide investigation.
While the death is being investigated as a homicide, an exact cause and manner of death has not yet been determined by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner.
Meanwhile, family members and those in the community remain in shock. Kimberly, one of the victim’s neighbors, said the neighborhood is usually very quiet.
“There’s usually kids outside; there’s never anything like this, never,” Kimberly said.
A sister of the woman who died declined to go on camera, but told Fox 9 that her sister was a 39-year-old mother of three who worked as an overnight nursing assistant at a senior living facility. A New Orleans native, the woman lived in Minnesota for about 20 years, and once served as the president of the tenant’s association.
Family describes the woman as loving, very determined and a person who often stood her ground.