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Suspect charged in north Mpls. artist's 2015 death

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Medaria Arradondo announces an arrest made in a four year old murder.
Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo announces an arrest made in a four year old murder investigation at City Hall Tuesday, June 25, 2019.
Brandt Williams | MPR News

 Updated: 4:55 p.m. | Posted: 2:58 p.m.

Hennepin County prosecutors say they've charged an 18-year-old in the July 2015 killing of Susan Spiller, who was found dead at her home in the 5100 block of Dupont Avenue in north Minneapolis.

Authorities provided few details Tuesday, noting the suspect was 14 years old at the time of the killing and, for now, was being processed through the juvenile system. The second-degree murder charge was filed in juvenile court.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said it would seek to have the unidentified suspect stand trial as an adult, a process that will take several months, at least.

Prosecutors said they caught a break in the case when the suspect's fingerprints turned up in an unrelated case and were found to have matched those taken from the scene of Spiller's death.

Tom Arneson, managing attorney for the juvenile division of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, said investigators didn't find a match until now.

"That did not happen until just recently and it came up after the suspect turned 18 and those fingerprints were taken in an unrelated case," Arneson said. He declined to say more about that case. 

Officers at the time of her killing found evidence of a break-in at her home.

Spiller was heralded by friends and neighbors as a talented artist and gardener.  They said she was a peaceful person who took an active role in trying to make her community better.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo thanked the community and the people closest to Spiller for their patience.

"The Spiller family and members of the community have waited almost four years. And throughout those years, they remained supportive of the MPD and the investigation calling in with tips and offering their support," Arradondo said.