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Suspect in Pregnant Eagan Woman's Death Charged with Murder, $2M Bail Set

Twenty-three-year-old Vern Jason Mouelle, of Brooklyn Park Photo: Eagan Police Department
Twenty-three-year-old Vern Jason Mouelle, of Brooklyn Park

January 26, 2017 03:13 PM

The suspect arrested in connection with the death of a 25-year-old pregnant woman in Eagan has been charged with murder and held at a $2 million bail without conditions.

According to the Dakota County Attorney's office, 23-year-old Vern Jason Mouelle, of Brooklyn Park, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder of an unborn child after Senicha Marie Lessman was found unresponsive Tuesday afternoon at a townhome on the 3100 block of Alden Pond Lane Tuesday.

According to the attorney's office, Lessman's mother originally found her daughter naked, unconscious and unresponsive with a bloody cloth stuffed in her mouth in the townhome's bedroom. Lessman's mother called 911, and Eagan police officers and paramedics responded. Paramedics attempted life saving efforts, but Lessman was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said the unborn child also died.

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Lessman's mother identified Mouelle as the unborn child's father when speaking with authorities, according to the attorney's office.

A neighbor also described an SUV that had been parked in the driveway earlier in the day, revealed to be registered to Mouelle's mother.

Officers found the vehicle and Mouelle at his place of employment, the attorney's office stated. Upon obtaining a search warrant, officers found a receipt for a pocket knife that had been purchased earlier that day, empty packaging for the knife, Lessman's cellphone and clothing and a trash can with blood on them inside the vehicle.

Mouelle was then taken into custody.

RELATED: Pregnant Woman Found Dead in Eagan Identified, Person of Interest Remains in Custody

An autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner revealed Lessman died from a knife wound to her neck or obstruction of her airway.

"This was a violent attack that has resulted in the senseless and tragic deaths of a young woman and her unborn child," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathy is expressed to the family and friends of Senicha Lessman."

The incident remains under investigation, according to the attorney's office.

Mouelle's next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Feb. 9.

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Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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