Sister of murder accused now charged in Lino Lakes killing

She was allegedly with her brother when he fatally shot 22-year-old Karl Henderson.
Author:
Publish date:
Melissa Zielinski

A second person has been charged in the killing of a 22-year-old man at his family's home in Lino Lakes last month.

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office announced Friday that Melissa Zielinski, 47, of Sandstone, Minnesota, has been charged with 2nd-degree murder in the death of Karl Henderson on Aug. 27.

She is the sister of Nicholas Zielinski, 43, of Hermantown, who was charged with 2nd-degree murder on Sept. 1.

Henderson's father arrived home to find a man and a woman in his kitchen, with his son found in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to his abdomen, which proved fatal.

Police were able to track Nicholas Zielinski after doorbell camera footage provided a description of the black SUV he was driving, which belongs to a woman with whom he lives, but who was not involved in the shooting.

After his arrest, police turned their attention to identifying the woman who was with him at the time, and a number of people spoke to said it was likely to be his sister.

Cellphones place them near Lino Lakes

Using cellphone tracking, investigators were able to determine that Nicholas Zielinski left the Duluth area on the morning of the shooting and stopped in Sandstone, where his sister lives, on his way to the cities.

His phone also showed him stopping in Sandstone again on the way back from Lino Lakes, while Melissa Zielinski's phone also showed her to have been in the Lino Lakes area.

Furthermore, a photograph accidentally taken inside her pocket on the day of the shooting was geo-tagged as having been taken 4.3 miles from the Henderson house.

A string of text messages on her phone included a text in which Melissa Zielinski wrote: "We are going to collect some money that's owed to me hopefully."

A reply said: "So you and Nick are going to muscle some money."

To which she replied: "Hopefully. I waited long enough."

Further investigation found that Melissa Zielinski was about to be evicted from her home, with a friend in the process of buying the house to stop this.

However, just hours before the deal closed, the friend was informed he needed an extra $4,000 for closing costs. He supplied this from his account, but unexpectedly then received $3,000 in cash from Melissa Zielinski on Aug. 28, the day after Henderson's killing.

When Henderson's father confronted the pair in his home, Nicholas Zielinski said something to the effect of: "Your son stole on me."

It's not been revealed why Henderson owed them money.

Weather update from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up

Jenna Fish

Family's warning after teen's tragic death from CO poisoning at Thanksgiving

A 17-year-old girl from Delano died after Thanksgiving due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plainview

More than $12K donated to MN gym owner who refused to close

The small business is located in town in Wabasha County.

radio station, microphone

MPR, The Current launch new weekly segment called 'The Warming House'

The program will feature feel-good entertainment amid the pandemic.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Dec. 3 COVID-19 update: 92 deaths marks MN's 2nd-highest total

The deaths continue to surge amid the worst of the pandemic so far.

mohamed amin bayle idd booking photo

2 men charged in connection to fatal shooting at Bloomington apartment complex

Shakur Freed Muhammed, 22, of Hopkins, was fatally shot Monday morning.

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 9.11.36 AM

Hewing Hotel finds workaround to shutdown, delivering 7-course meal to rooms

The hotel will convert guest rooms into dining rooms for three-hour reservations.

Jan and Chris Kruse

'Dateline' episode will explore Minnesota woman's unsolved murder

Jan Pigman-Kruse was fatally shot in her bed in 2015. Her husband was acquitted in the case.

124906958_401361401236047_6293747214536025849_o

Pandemic pushes need for cybersecurity, I.T. management professionals to the forefront

Enroll in a Master's course in one of these increasingly vital disciplines at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

mike freeman

Hennepin County will eliminate bail system for certain non-violent crimes

The reform is backed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Vikings vs. Jags is a battle of retool vs. rebuild

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Related

Nicholas Zielinski

Hermantown man charged in killing at Lino Lakes home

Karl Henderson, 22, was found dead in the home by his father.

Screen Shot 2020-08-31 at 9.43.35 AM

1 suspect arrested after 22-year-old killed in Lino Lakes

The 22-year-old was fatally shot on Thursday, Aug. 27.

police tape, crime scene

Son dies after father finds him gravely injured in his Lino Lakes home.

The father says two people were leaving the property when he arrived home.

David Ekers

Charges: Man killed his grandmother with wrench, tried to kill mom and sister

The suspect said he didn't want to go back on mental health medication or return to a hospital.

Charges: Murder accused says God told him to kill Blaine woman

The 38-year-old from St. Cloud is facing 2nd degree murder charges.

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 8.00.27 AM

Man charged with gruesome murder of missing teen

The 19-year-old went missing in early April, and her former roommate has been charged with her murder.

police tape, crime scene

Fundraiser set up for family of man killed in Lino Lakes shooting

He was discovered at his home by his father; no one's been arrested yet.