MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis police say they have arrested a man in connection to the murder Twin Cities realtor Monique Baugh on New Year’s Eve.
The 41-year-old suspect was taken into custody early Friday morning, and is in the Hennepin County Jail.
Baugh, 28, was found gravely injured in the alley of the 1400 block of Russell Avenue North on Tuesday night. She was a mother of two, and worked for Kris Lindahl Real Estate.
Before news of Friday’s arrest broke, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke about Baugh’s killing.
“This was not just some random person. We don’t have random people. We don’t have random deaths in the city of Minneapolis. This was somebody’s mother. This was a business woman” Frey said. “This kind of violence, it has no place in the city of Minneapolis. It is absolutely unacceptable.”
On Friday, WCCO spoke to Lucille Baugh, the victim’s aunt, at the alley were she was found — which has now become a memorial.
“She didn’t do nothing to get in trouble, so it is very hard to come here and see this … that someone would do that to her,” Baugh said. “She was always happy, always nice to people. I can’t think of nothing bad to say.”
The police search warrant says officers first responded to a report of a shooting Tuesday on the 4800 block of Humboldt Avenue North at about 5:40 p.m. Witnesses say they saw a U-Haul truck in the alley right before gunfire was heard.
About an hour later, there was another report of gunfire on the 1300 block of Russell Avenue North. Officers arrived to find Baugh suffering from gunshot wounds. Duct tape was visible on one of her wrists. Witnesses say they saw a U-Haul truck drive through the alley right after the shooting.
Police later discovered that Baugh and the man who was shot an hour before her were romantically involved. She later passed away at an area hospital. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says she died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Investigators looked into what Baugh was doing earlier on the day of her murder. She was scheduled to show a home in Maple Grove, which was set up directly between her and a possible client, instead of through her realtor company. Little did she know, she was being lured into a deadly trap.
Surveillance video from across the street appears to show Baugh pull up to the house. As she walks inside, a U-Haul truck drives by. The truck soon returns and pulls backwards into the driveway. Footage then appears to show Baugh being led from the home into the truck. Investigators noticed in the footage that the truck’s rear passenger-side light wasn’t working.
The truck’s license plate was later caught by a plate reader 13 minutes after the first shooting at the intersection for Dowling and Fremont avenues in north Minneapolis. Investigators were then able to track down the truck after it was returned to a Minneapolis U-Haul store, where they found zip ties in the rear storage area, and Gorilla-brand duct tape in the front passenger-side door. The same light was also non-functional on the truck.
The truck was rented out to a woman who told police she and her fiancé rented it out themselves to the suspect, who they each described as their drug dealer. They separately confirmed the suspect’s identity from a recent booking photo, and provided investigators with his cellphone number.
Police tracked the suspect to a St. Louis Park DoubleTree hotel, where he was arrested early Friday morning. His cellphone matched the number that the truck renters gave detectives.
Investigators believe the suspect and Baugh’s boyfriend were rival drug dealers. He is still hospitalized as of late Friday night.
The suspect has not yet been formally charged with any crime. Online records show he has previous convictions for manslaughter, robbery and dealing drugs. Police are still investigating.
“Our entire team is devastated by Monique’s death. This situation has shocked us all. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from the community and are focusing on remembering what an amazing person Monique was and helping her children,” Kris Lindahl said in a statement.
Kris Lindahl Real Estate has set up a GoFundMe to support Baugh’s children and will match the first $10,000 donated. If you wish to donate, click here.