By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCCO)– Connie Beckers thought this day would feel different.

“I was sort of looking forward to hating somebody, to be honest with you, and I can’t,” Beckers said.

It had been four long years without any answers as to who killed her friend and fellow artist, Susan Spiller.

When the answer finally came on Tuesday afternoon, it wasn’t the one she expected.

“At first, I felt really relieved and I thought, good, you know, justice. I can replace my hate for the unknown person and move forward and now, it’s different. I can’t hate a 14-year-old kid,” Beckers said.

Police believe a 14-year-old boy broke into Spiller’s north Minneapolis home and violently attacked and killed her in 2015. Recently, they were able to link fingerprints left at a different, unrelated crime scene to her death. The suspect is now 18 years old.

“Because of the suspect’s age at the time of the murder, there is very little that we are able to say right now about the case. Juvenile court statutes and rules require this privacy,” said Tom Arneson of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Juvenile Division.

Spiller was known for her friendly and loving heart throughout this close knit artist’s community. Her longtime friend Duane Atter doesn’t know the exact details of the crime, but thinks Spiller may have been helping the person who ultimately killed her.

“Susan was a very kind and giving woman and it just breaks my heart. If she was there to help that person and that person did that to her, it is just so sad,” Atter said.

The suspect is being held at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center. The county has filed a motion to try him as an adult.

That process could take up to three months.

Mary McGuire

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