Updated: January 04, 2020 11:09 AM
Police have arrested a man in connection to the death of a Minneapolis realtor and mother on New Year's Eve.
Minneapolis Police said 41-year-old Cedric Lamont Berry was arrested early Friday morning and booked into the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center on probable cause murder in the death of Monique Baugh.
Police said the investigation into Baugh's death remains active.
Officers responded to the 1300 block of Russell Avenue North in Minneapolis at about 6:38 p.m. after a ShotSpotter report. According to a search warrant application, Baugh, a young mother and realtor, was found with multiple gunshot wounds and duct tape around one of her wrists.
A witness told police he saw a U-Haul vehicle drive north in the alley where Baugh was found. Just an hour before Baugh was found, police responded to a shooting near 48th Avenue N. and Humboldt Avenue N. The victim of that shooting was Baugh's boyfriend, the affidavit states.
It also states investigation revealed Baugh had scheduled a home showing in Maple Grove before she was killed. Video from across the street shows her vehicle arriving at the residence, and after the U-Haul vehicle passes the house a person walks into the home. The U-Haul then pulled up to the house and backed up to the garage doors, the affidavit states. Investigators said they believe the video shows Baugh being escorted into the back of the U-Haul before it drives away.
Investigators also learned the person who scheduled the showing with Baugh reached out to her directly to schedule it, not through the realty firm, which led investigators to believe the suspect may have called her cellphone, the warrant application states.
Surveillance video from a house near the murder scene showed a U-Haul leaving the area, and after it was returned by the renter, a search of the U-Haul showed zip ties in the back storage area and duct tape packaging in the front door. The affidavit states when investigators spoke to the person who rented the U-Haul and her fiance, the renter said she had rented it for her drug dealer, which her fiance also confirmed. Police said the drug dealer they identified is a rival drug dealer of Baugh's boyfriend.
The drug dealer, identified only as C.B. in the affidavit, was later arrested. Authorities also seized his smartphone and laptop.
“I was overwhelmed, it was breathtaking,” said Lucille Baugh, her aunt. “I was a little bit relieved but it's not over you know, it's just the beginning.”
She reacted to the news of Berry’s arrest near a memorial for her niece.
Pink balloons and roses have been left by family and friends in the alleyway where the 28-year-old was killed.
“That’s Monique — happy, beautiful, she wanted to enjoy life,” said Baugh. “She loved her job. She loved helping people, that's just Monique.”
She said her niece worked hard to provide for her two young daughters.
Her death and the account of what may have happened has been hard to comprehend. Baugh told us she wants to know who was involved, how many people were involved and why her niece was targeted.
“I want justice, I want to know why you would do something like this.” said Baugh. “I know Monique wouldn't do nothing to have someone do something like this to her.”
Baugh told us she will continue to fight for answers.
“I pray every night, every second,” she said. “That’s the only thing that keeps me going.”
On Friday, community members gathered at Minneapolis City Hall, seeking justice.
"To the killer or killers: Monique did not have to die," members of the organization Safe Streets Coalition wrote in a statement. "As a community, we support the apprehension of whoever committed this shameful crime. We're calling for all Twin Cities hands and hearts on-deck to make sure evil does not reign supreme this year."
Baugh's family has set up a GoFundMe account to help them cover expenses.
Kris Lindahl Real Estate, where Monique was employed has also set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for her daughters.
KSTP & Callan Gray
Updated: January 04, 2020 11:09 AM
Published: January 03, 2020 12:00 AM
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