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Criminal charges expected Tuesday against stabbing suspect

Crosby Police Chief Kim Coughlin Monday talks about Saturday's stabbing that left a 38-year-old woman dead at the Heartwood Senior Living Community. Jennifer Stockinger / Forum News Service1 / 3
David Michael Otey2 / 3
Things were quiet Monday at Heartwood Senior Living Community in Crosby after a fatal stabbing incident happened on Saturday. Jennifer Stockinger / Forum News Service3 / 3

CROSBY, Minn. — Although few new details surrounding the weekend murder of a 38-year-old woman in Crosby in northern Minnesota were available Monday, Jan. 15, criminal charges against the suspect are expected Tuesday, Jan. 16, and should shed more light on the incident.

The suspect — David Michael Otey, 37, of Cambridge, Minn. — is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail on probable cause for second-degree murder. Otey, the younger brother of the victim, is expected to be arraigned on formal criminal charges Tuesday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd, Minn.

Crosby police were called just after 8 a.m. Saturday to Heartwood Senior Living Community, a senior living facility, on a report of a stabbing. Officers found the victim, Danyele Marie Johnson, a Heartwood employee, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office reported the manner of death was determined to be homicide, and the cause of death was sharp force injury.

Crosby Police Chief Kim Coughlin said on Monday she could not comment on any further details of the case, including what police believe was the motivation behind the stabbing. Coughlin did offer her sympathy for the victim's family.

"This was an isolated incident," Coughlin said. "It's an unusual situation. ... Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim and the suspect."

Coughlin said, in her opinion, Heartwood is a "very safe, secure facility." Cuyuna Regional Medical Center owns Heartwood jointly with Presbyterian Homes and Services.

Heartwood Campus Administrator Mike Hall posted a statement to the community Monday, stating, "All of us are saddened by the news that Danyele Johnson, an employee at Heartwood, died as the result of an altercation that occurred on our campus early Saturday morning. ... Police are not looking for anyone else, and there is no threat remaining to Heartwood or the greater community. We extend our deepest sympathy to Danyele's family for their loss."

Hall said

Johnson worked at Heartwood for about three years as a cook. Hall would not comment further about Johnson or the stabbing, but said Heartwood appreciates all the hard work by law enforcement.

"Everyone at Heartwood is affected by this tragic event," Hall stated. "We are offering counseling to our employees and providing emotional and spiritual support to the residents and their families. We will continue to support the local authorities in their investigation and appreciate their resolve to answer the questions that surround this case."

In an earlier interview with the Dispatch, Peggy Stebbins, CRMC marketing and public relations director, said the doors at Heartwood are always locked and the only way a person can get through the doors is if an employee lets them in. Guests are always identified before they may enter.

Stebbins reported as far as staff at CRMC knew, nothing similar to this incident had occurred at the facility in the past.

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