Two witnesses who observed apparent blood stains on a Minneapolis man's carpet helped lead investigators to the man now charged with fatally shooting Tiffany Monique Walker.
Walker, 29 years old, was found dead in a north Minneapolis alley the morning of Aug. 11. The medical examiner said she died of gunshot wounds to the head.
On Monday, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged 47-year-old Emmet M. Nelson in her killing. Nelson, of Minneapolis, faces one count of second-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm following a previous violent crime conviction, the attorney's office said.
Two witnesses, one of whom went to get a medical exam after saying she'd been assaulted by Nelson, provided accounts that led to the charges. Both had been in Nelson's apartment in the days following Walker's killing and noticed what appeared to be blood stains on his carpet, as well as his attempts to scrub it out, according to the charges.
Nelson, who is in custody, is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Authorities say he's on parole related to a criminal sexual conduct conviction from 2006, and is barred from having a weapon.
According to the criminal complaint:
Aug 16, five days after Walker's body was found, a witness went to Hennepin County Medical Center to receive a sexual assault examination. There, she told medical staff that Nelson had sexually assaulted her on Aug. 13.
She had met Nelson through a second witness, saying Nelson had picked both of them up in a maroon or orange mustang with a white hood, and taken them both to his home. While there, the first witness noticed brown spots on his carpet and evidence of cleaning attempts. Nelson also asked her to help clean the spots.
Later, she learned from the second witness that they were blood stains.
Investigators then spoke to the second witness, who confirmed the first witness' account. They told investigators Nelson admitted to them that he'd shot Walker and dumped her in the alley, then when he returned home took off his bloody clothing and stained the carpet.
The witness also told investigators Nelson showed them the alley in question. When the two drove by it, the second witness noticed memorial balloons on display.
Nelson told the second witness that right before the shooting, he was "about to get into it with some guys from the lows." Walker was walking on the street and said something to Nelson, at which point he "blacked out" and shot her. Video obtained by investigators also shows Walker, at one point, appearing to chase after Nelson's Mustang prior to the shooting.
Nelson told the second witness he got scared after shooting Walker and put her body in his car, then drove around for 15 minutes. At that point he turned off his vehicle's lights, went into an alley and tossed Walker's body there. He shot her once more, in the head, to ensure she wasn't alive.
Two garbage haulers discovered her body later that morning.
Authorities found surveillance footage showing Nelson's maroon Mustang driving around the area where Walker was found from 2-3 a.m. that morning. It also showed the Mustang drive through the alley on the 3600 block of Knox Avenue North and turn its lights off. It stops for a period of time, then leaves the alley — lights still off — at 4:23 a.m.
A search warrant at Nelson's residence turned up a carpet vac and bottle of bleach, as well as a "blood-like substance" on the carpet and items of clothing. That substance is undergoing testing.
Nelson, speaking to police, admitted the maroon Mustang was his, but gave varying accounts about whether he was in possession of it at the time of Walker's killing.