Posted at: 09/20/2013 3:41 PM
Updated at: 09/22/2013 2:34 PM
By: Maricella Miranda
A man accused of killing a woman he was dating has been charged, along with his sister and daughter, who authorities say helped him dispose of her body in St. Louis Park.
Walter Thompson III, 54, of Minneapolis was charged Friday in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree murder involving the death of Nerissa Annette Shaw.
His sister Senaca Ann Thompson, 53, of Brooklyn Center and his daughter, Rachel Lee Thompson, 25, of Minneapolis were each charged with felony accomplice after the fact.
On Tuesday, a worker found Shaw's body lying behind a building in a wooded area adjacent to the railroad tracks near the 5001 block of Cedar Lake Road. The woman's body was wrapped in purple fabric with a descriptive pattern, the charges said.
An autopsy revealed that the body had significant blunt force trauma to the face, head and ribs, a broken jaw and cuts to the kidney and liver, the charges said. The body also had post mortem rib fractures. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office determined that the woman's assailant used more than fists to injure her.
The couple had a frequent history of domestic violence in their relationship, documented in four years of court records, the complaints said. Thompson was on probation for violating an order for protection involving Shaw during the time of her death. It was unclear whether the couple was currently in a relationship, police said.
A relative of Shaw's told police that two weeks before her death Shaw asked if she could stay with the relative because Thompson had beaten her up and threatened to kill her, the charges said. The relative noticed injuries to Shaw's face. The relative said she last saw Shaw Sept. 12.
Police obtained a security camera at Walter Thompson's apartment, which showed two women moving a large plastic container from the building Sept. 15, the complaints said. The bin, which was covered and appeared heavy, briefly showed purple fabric with a distinctive pattern when the lid moved.
A search of Thompson's home revealed medication in Shaw's name, blood-like substance in the shower drain and on a mattress, the complaints said. Also, police found a notebook where Thompson wrote about his history of domestic violence with Shaw.
Thompson eventually told police that he and Shaw had been drinking at his apartment Sept. 13.
The sister, Senaca Thompson, told police that her brother said Shaw left him Sept. 1. On Sept. 15, her brother asked her to help him move something. Security camera footage showed her helping him push the container into the backseat of Rachel Thompson's vehicle.
The daughter, Rachel Thompson, told police that she brought a large container to her father's apartment upon his request, but she didn't enter the home at the time, the complaints said.
On Sept. 15, Rachel Thompson said her father asked her to help him move something in the same container, the charges said. She noticed a foul smell mixed with bleach coming from the container.
According to the complaints, all three pushed the container into her vehicle.
Rachel Thompson then drove to her aunt's house, the complaints said. Later that night, the three family members left in two separate vehicles, the complaints said. Walter Thompson told them to drive to St. Louis Park, where he emptied the container.
Two days later, Shaw's body was found.
Rachel Thompson told police that her father apologized to her that day, saying he made a mistake and it was an accident, the complaints said. Her aunt told her that Walter Thompson had hit Shaw in the head while they were drinking and fighting.