BLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) — Living next door to each other for nearly 10 years, Tim Magnuson and his family were more friends than neighbors with the Jansen family.

“When we built fences in the backyard, we put in a gate between the two yards,” said Magnuson.

The two families spent a lot of time swimming in the pool together and sharing laughs.

Late Friday night, that picture of the idyllic neighborhood was shattered.

“It’s hard to process that depth of grief and tragedy,” Magnuson said.

Mary and Matthew Jansen (credit: CBS)

Outside the Jansen home, piled up boxes and a note from the Sheriff’s Office are grim reminders of what took place.

Blaine police say just before 10 p.m. Friday night, 46-year-old Matthew Jansen called 911 and told authorities he killed his wife, Mary Jo.

Police responded to the 2700 block of 95th Avenue Northeast, where she was found dead inside their home. The couple has been married for 23 years and has two children.

Magnuson says he will remember Mary as a devoted mother and is praying for her two children.

“She was just a great mom, had a special friendship with her daughter and loved her kids,” said Magnuson.

Mary’s cause of death has not been determined, but that information will come after the medical examiner has completed an autopsy.

Right now, Jansen is being held on second-degree murder charges in the Anoka County Jail, but he has not been formally charged. The Anoka County Sheriff’s office is assisting in the investigation.

Mary McGuire

Comments (4)
  1. Inflated home prices make it hard for couples to separate. Like that guy who murdered all his daughters, he was broke paying all the bills for his estranged wife.

    And then the court takes away your drivers license when you can’t keep up with the payments.

  2. This kind of stuff will become more common as today’s children find out making a living goes way beyond putting up a fake life style of yourself on Facebook of other social media.

  3. Victoria Snyder says:

    Praying the love and compassion of family and friends will help the children. The devastation for them is enormous. It’s so easy for others to criticize and make snarky comments in the face of unspeakable tragedy.