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A 41-year-old North St. Paul man is charged with 2nd-degree murder in the stabbing of a woman police found dead inside her burning apartment on Friday. 

Prosecutors in Ramsey County allege Melvin Bilbro murdered 43-year-old Shanna R. Daniels, with whom he was in a relationship.

Police found Daniels dead Thursday evening after being called to a fire at her apartment building at 2210 South Ave. in North St. Paul. 

Witnesses told police they'd heard Daniels arguing with her boyfriend the night prior and had seen him enter her apartment about 15 minutes before officers arrived. The landlord identified Bilbro, who also resided within the apartment complex, as Daniels' boyfriend. 

At Bilbro's apartment, investigators recovered various items covered in blood, including a pair of shoes, clothing, a cell phone and a piece of paper. Officers also noted blood on the bathroom sink and bathtub and found Daniels' dog closed inside the bathroom, "covered in soot" and smelling of smoke. 

Investigators spoke with another witness who called Bilbro to report Daniels' apartment was on fire. Bilbro allegedly told the witness he had been with Daniels when her ex-boyfriend showed up, so he left. 

The witness, however, told investigators they'd not seen the ex-boyfriend and thought it was "extremely unusual" for Daniels' dog to be at Bilbro's apartment. 

Officers arrested Bilbro early Friday morning after finding him sleeping under the Highway 36 overpass on the Gateway State Trail. Bilbro allegedly had a bloody piece of paper and Daniels' credit card in his possession during the arrest. 

In an interview with investigators, Bilbro allegedly changed his story multiple times questioned about the nature of his relationship with Daniels, when he'd last seen her and if he'd known about the fire. 

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy with ruled Daniels' death a homicide. Although the cause of death is pending toxicology reports, the medical examiner noted multiple stab wounds. 

Bilbro's criminal history in includes four previous felony convictions and The Minnesota Department of Corrections listed Bilbro under intensive supervised release at the time of Daniels' death.

In 2008, he was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and second-degree attempted murder. 

In that offense, he assaulted his girlfriend and then threatened to sexually assault his girlfriend's 12-year-old daughter, according to court documents. He then stabbed his girlfriend in the forehead and fled the scene. 

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