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Shock as beloved artist, activist is killed in north Mpls. home invasion

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A woman has been found dead in her home in North Minneapolis after what appears to be a home invasion.

Minneapolis police say they carried out a welfare check on the 5100 block of Dupont Ave. N. at 9 a.m. at the request of the woman's family, and when officers arrived they found signs of forced entry.

They then found the body of a 68-year-old woman inside the home. Her death is being treated as a homicide.

Nobody is custody at this time.

The identity of the victim was not officially released, but neighbors identified her as Susan Spiller, the vice-chair of the Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association.

"She was at my home last summer with another neighbor to talk about the best approach with problem properties," a commenter on the North Vent community Facebook page said. "Very sweet and gentle soul. This is devastating."

The Star Tribune reports Spiller was an artist known for her glasswork and lampshades, as well as being a prominent local activist.

The newspaper adds that it was Spiller's son who called the police after arriving at his mother's house and noticing the back door was kicked open.

Minneapolis City Council president Barbara Johnson spoke of the incident at a press conference Thursday afternoon, saying of Spiller: "I can't tell you how upset people are in north Minneapolis because of the loss of this lady," KARE 11 reports.

Johnson was speaking alongside Mayor Betsy Hodges to address the spike in violent crime seen in North Minneapolis in recent weeks.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or send an anonymous tip to CRIMES (274637) and begin message with: TIP674 or call the MPD tip line at 612-692-TIPS (8477). The case numbers are 15-263264.

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