Officials Say Suspect Was 14 Years Old At The Time Of The Murder

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A suspect has been identified in the murder of a well-known artist and community activist who was found dead inside her north Minneapolis home in 2015.

“I am pleased to announce a suspect in this heinous crime has been identified, arrested, and charged,” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Minneapolis police and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference to provide an update on the case.

“All victims deserve justice,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.

There, officials said that 18-year-old male suspect has been identified, arrested and charged in connection to the crime. Officials said because he was 14 years old at the time of the incident, the process begins in juvenile court, and he has not been identified by name.

The proceedings of the trial will remain private unless the judge orders that the suspect be certified to stand trial as an adult.

The suspect’s first court appearance was Tuesday afternoon.

On July 16, 2015, police were called to Susan Spiller’s home on the 5100 block of Dupont Avenue for a welfare check. They found Spiller’s body, along with signs of forced entry. Shortly after her death, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said she died of “complex homicidal violence.”

A team of homicide investigators matched fingerprints at Spiller’s home to the 18-year-old they arrested. Investigators identified the fingerprints only after the suspect committed a different, unrelated crime, but they would not say what that crime was.

Spiller was a well-known artist and activist in the Twin Cities, serving on the board of the Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association and Northside Arts Collective. She was primarily a glass artist.

While Spiller’s son was at the press conference Tuesday, he did not speak with the media.

“Our hope is to bring justice and hope to spiller family and residents of Minneapolis,” Chief Arradondo said.

The suspect is being held at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center, and the county has filed a motion to try him as an adult, a process that could take up to three months to finalize.

Watch the full press conference below: