The St. Paul woman found slain in her home Monday morning has been identified by her family as Shana Hollins, a 39-year-old mother of three.
Hollins was found dead in her Payne-Phalen townhouse, where police said a teenage girl also had been kept against her will and sexually assaulted.
Police said they have arrested a suspect, a 33-year-old man from East St. Louis, Ill., who knew both victims. They initially called the death suspicious but are now investigating it as a homicide.
“My sister has been murdered and a younger cousin assaulted,” Hollins’ sister, Krystal Hollins wrote on a fundraising page. “Our family was small and is smaller now.”Krystal Hollins described her sister as feisty, generous and loving “with a very big heart.”
Police spokesman Steve Linders said the teenager who was assaulted was not one of Shana Hollins’ children.
The suspect was booked into the Ramsey County jail on suspicion of kidnapping and criminal sexual assault, and is considered a person of interest in the ongoing homicide investigation. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects until they’ve been charged.
Shana Hollins had been working as a certified nursing assistant in a senior living facility, her sister said. She grew up in New Orleans but had lived in the Twin Cities for more than 20 years and loved the neighborhood.