SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Alcohol may have played a role in an early morning homicide in South St. Paul.

Police were called to a home on the 500 block of South 9th Street around 4 a.m. Friday on a report of a woman’s body inside the home.

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When officers arrived they discovered the lifeless body of a 45-year-old woman. A short time later, police took the woman’s boyfriend into custody for questioning.

Friends said the couple met as both were attempting to turn their lives around.

Its news no one expects to greet the day. But as homicide investigators made their way in and out of the South St. Paul home, neighbors could express only disbelief.

“I was really surprised, nothing ever happens in this town, it’s really a Mayberry RFD town,” Judy Battest said.

It became anything but that, as for the better part of the day agents with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension continued to process the crime scene.

“She was an awesome mom when her kids were little and she loved being around them,” Battest said, fighting back tears.

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Battest said the homicide victim is a mother of two college kids, who battled alcohol and had recently gone through treatment to better her life.

“And things got bad. She had weight loss surgery and got into alcoholism and things went bad,” Battest said.

It was while at a treatment program that the woman met 58-year-old Thomas Michael Luby. He was arrested at the scene of Friday’s death on probable cause murder and will be charged Monday in Dakota County.

“You can never fully know your neighbors, but you like to think everybody is good,” Rebecca Bringgold said.

Yet behind the closed blinds, trouble often goes unnoticed – sadly, until it’s too late.

“I still talked to her, I still supported her. She went to rehab many times and tried to do better, but this is horrible, just horrible,” Battest said.

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Luby has a history of alcohol related offenses. He’s being held without bail and will be charged Monday with second-degree murder.