Police: Man sets fire to and kills his ex-girlfriend at his workplace in St. Paul, then burns down his Bloomington home
A man set fire to and killed his former girlfriend at her St. Paul workplace on Tuesday morning, then drove to her unoccupied home in Bloomington and set it on fire, police said.
The 47-year-old was quickly arrested near his residence and quickly turned over to St. Paul police, who questioned him before jailing him on suspicion of murder, St. Paul Police Sgt. said Natalie Davis.
The woman was ‘unresponsive and not breathing and appeared to have been badly burned’ when officers found her around 9am inside a long-haul trucking facility in the 1700 block of Wynne Avenue , near the intersection of Snelling and Como avenues, police said. .
Rescuers declared the woman dead at the scene. Details of his cause and manner of death will be determined by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The woman and man “had a previous relationship,” Davis said, without giving details.
Authorities have yet to release the identity of the woman, who is the city’s 11th homicide victim this year. Davis said she worked at the facility, which is operated by SBS Group of Companies.
The man’s father said the woman was 44 and a mother of three children. The father said his son was a truck driver who worked in the same building as the woman.
He also said his son had suffered psychological difficulties which necessitated a weeks-long incarceration in mid-2021 for mental health treatment.
Around this time last year, according to court records, a protective order was sought by the woman. They were romantically involved for more than a decade until last summer and shared a home for some of the years they were together until 2018, her court filing has revealed.
In what she described as the latest round of physical abuse from the man, the woman said last June that he assaulted her, threatened to kill her and drugged her without her knowledge, according to the protective order. The woman requested that the protection order be canceled after less than a month.
“He was obsessed with the occult and devil worship,” the father told the Star Tribune. “They were there to catch him. I thought he was going crazy.”
He had “done good by not drinking and not doing drugs”, continued the father. “But he’s acting weird.”
In 2013, another woman sought a court order to protect herself from the man. She alleged that he was extremely violent and called and texted her constantly.
Bloomington firefighters were notified about 15 minutes after the woman’s death that the man’s home was on fire.
Officers at the scene of the fire “observed a vehicle described by neighbors as leaving the address of the fire,” Bloomington Deputy Chief of Police Kimberly Clauson said. The man exited the vehicle and officers immediately arrested him, Clauson said.
Police identified the suspect by name, but the Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects until they are charged. The man’s criminal history in Minnesota includes numerous assault convictions.