COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — Neighbors are coming to grips with the tragedy that played out inside a quiet Coon Rapids apartment complex Thursday night. Taiwo Obazeluwa said she was frightened to go outside.
“For this to happen, I don’t know it’s so scary,” Obazeluwa said.
She and others at the Wedgewood Place Apartments on the 10000 block of Hanson Boulevard are learning the sad details of what happened inside an apartment there. That’s where 44-year-old Susan Courteau lived and where her older sister discovered her dead at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
“Not in Coon Rapids, it’s really shocking. I can’t even take it in yet. Coming out of my room I’m thinking, o.k., is this place safe now? It’s so scary,” Obazeluwa said.
Right from the start, Coon Rapids investigators suspected Courteau’s boyfriend, 54-year-old Patrick William Benton.
Benton has an extensive criminal record, including domestic assault.
On Thursday morning, police were called to Courteau’s apartment to remove Benton. According to Courteau, he’d been drinking and had a puppy with him. She apparently didn’t want trouble with the landlord, where dogs aren’t allowed.
Hours after her body was discovered, a SWAT team tracked Benton to a nephew’s home just a few miles away.
Debbie Johnston lives next door and witnessed the arrest.
“He’s related to somebody who lives there and we speculated on our own that he was kind of hiding out. That was it, he didn’t tell the people the truth about why he was there,” Johnston said.
Benton was arrested without incident and was booked into the Anoka County Jail. Late Friday afternoon he was charged with second-degree homicide.