A 17-year-old boy arrested Friday in last week's stabbing death of a North St. Paul girl was her boyfriend, according to close friends.

Anna Hurd, 16, was found dead on a path in Hillside Park, near McKnight Road and Ripley Avenue in Maplewood, about five blocks from her home on Feb. 23. On Friday, Acting Maplewood Police Chief Dave Kvam said that a 17-year-old has been arrested as a suspect in her slaying. He has not been charged.

Kvam confirmed that the boy was an acquaintance of Anna's, but declined to name him. "It was not a stranger crime," he said at an afternoon news conference.

However, friends of Anna's said that the suspect was Hurd's boyfriend of more than nine months.

Madison Marfell, 15, a friend of Anna's who attended the news conference with Anna's father, Patrick Hurd, said that when Anna's dad suggested to police that the boyfriend had been the one arrested, they didn't deny his assertion.

"Me and Anna, we were really close," Marfell said. "We were like sisters."

She said she heard from several people that Anna had been at a house party with her boyfriend Friday night and that on the way home they got into an argument. The argument centered around a planned trip to Texas, she said.

Marfell described Anna's boyfriend as clingy. "He got jealous of me and Anna and our relationship," she said.

She said the boy attended a memorial service for Anna on Thursday at St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in North St. Paul. The church is across the street from North High School, the school that Hurd once attended.

"I told him that if he did this, he was going to go to hell," she said, which caused him to cry.

Chandra Pickett, a friend of Anna's for the past three years, said she was shocked when she heard that it was Anna's boyfriend who was arrested.

"It was totally heartbreaking," Pickett said, but added that the news gave her some sense of closure.

Penelope Griffin, sister of Anna's mother, Jen Hutchings, said the arrest "gives the family a sense of relief." She called it "very shocking that [Anna] could have been hurt by someone she was close to — she was such a loving person."

Anna was "a fun-loving person with a charismatic personality," Griffin said.

Patrick Hurd couldn't be reached for comment Friday. In an earlier interview with the Star Tribune, he said that he last saw his daughter late last week when her boyfriend picked her up. "They were inseparable," he said.

He said the couple had an argument later, after the boyfriend discovered her texting another boy. Hurd said he thought that the person who killed his daughter knew her, but he said at the time that he didn't suspect her boyfriend.

His daughter loved playing volleyball, and used to play in the school band before they moved here from Texas, where her mother and sisters still live.

Speaking for Hurd on Friday, Marfell said, "He's just happy that they have someone. It's a very sad reason to be happy."

The boy, who was arrested without incident at a Maplewood home about noon Friday, is being held at the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police. The case will be presented to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for possible charges.

Anna will be buried in Vernon, Texas, her aunt said.