A Faribault woman was charged Friday in Rice County District Court with second-degree murder in the stabbing death earlier this month of a 76-year-old man with whom she was living.

Arlene Theresa Bell, 32, was arrested west of Des Moines on Feb. 5 while driving a van belonging to Gary Lehmeyer, whom police found dead at his home later that day during a welfare check. They found Lehmeyer with several stab wounds and wrapped in bedding.

Bell is being held at the Dallas County jail in Adel, Iowa, on a charge of motor vehicle theft. According to a news release, Rice County Attorney Brian Mortenson is planning to have her extradited to Minnesota to face the murder and theft charges.

Bell, who was said to be from Bemidji and whose criminal history includes terroristic threats, burglary and harassment, reportedly told the Iowa state trooper who pulled her over that she had used methamphetamine a couple of days before and was just coming down from it. The trooper found in the van a glass pipe with meth residue, a bag of syringes and Narcan, for treating narcotic overdoses.

According to the news release, Bell told police that she and Lehmeyer started to fight after she spotted bullets in his bedroom and got scared. Lehmeyer, more than twice Bell's age, was physically disabled and had been diagnosed more than a decade ago with Parkinson's dementia.

Bell told investigators that she used a knife to stab Lehmeyer and "saw at his wrists," and that he had then strangled her and tried to choke her with the cord of a dehumidifier. She said she cut off the cord and, fearing he would kill her, used it to bind his feet when he lost consciousness.

She said that she then went through his things, washed off his blood in the shower and took the van, heading for Mexico.

According to Faribault police, Bell and Lehmeyer were "in a legally qualifying domestic relationship at the time of his death."