Hennepin County authorities filed charges today against a Shorewood woman for allegedly killing her boyfriend and storing his body in a freezer. Jetaun Helen Wheeler, 29, is charged with second-degree murder. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the victim was 58 years old. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has yet to release the man's name or exact cause of death.
The criminal complaint says the victim's brother contacted the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department to report a missing person on Aug. 13. The man was supposed to travel by bus to his family's home in Chicago but never arrived.
Friends of the victim told police that he had been having domestic troubles with Wheeler. When police first questioned Wheeler, she told them her boyfriend had taken a bus to Chicago on Aug. 3, and that she hadn't seen him since. She told police she didn't have an email or phone number for him.
Police searched the house Wheeler shared with the victim on Aug. 21 and found two pieces of rolled up carpet, one of which appeared to be stained with blood. Behind two mattresses in the garage, authorities found a seemingly brand-new freezer with a box of Christmas decorations on top. When police opened the freezer, they found the frozen body of an adult man. It had been wrapped in plastic and bound with duct tape.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office confirmed that the body was the missing man by comparing fingerprint records, according to the charges. They found that the victim had sustained blunt force trauma to the head and significant cuts to the left eye, as well as what appeared to be defensive wounds on his hands. Authorities found a broken closet rod that tested positive for blood.
Wheeler is in custody. Authorities want to speak to her children, whose whereabouts are unknown. Freeman said they are 10, 8 and 7.
"We don't know what these children went through," Freeman said. "They're not at the house or any of the normal places where they might be."
Wheeler is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.