St. Paul woman found in Indiana motel was strangled, boyfriend charged

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The mother of a St. Paul woman found strangled at a motel in Indiana has said she was a "sweet, loving child," while her boyfriend has been charged in her death.

The Munster Times reports Gregory Deshawn Rainer, 33, has been charged with killing Shannon Marie Morrison, 38, whose body was found Sunday at a Super 8 Motel in Hammond, Indiana, where the pair had traveled to attend a graduation party.

Preliminary autopsy findings concluded that although Morrison had trauma to her head, the cause of death was strangulation, with an injury to the neck caused by a human hand, the newspaper notes.

Court documents seen by The Chicago Tribune say Hammond police were called to the motel by Rainier's mother, who had received a phone call from her son in which his demeanor was "erratic."

She said her son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and she believed he was not taking his medication. According to court documents, Rainier expressed concern to his mother than Morrison had been hurt.

Morrison had spent most of her life in St. Paul, according to the Pioneer Press, and during the last decade had worked at concession stands during Minnesota Wild games and as a telemarketer. She has three children ages 10, 14 and 18.

Her mother, Lori Harper, told the newspaper Morrison and Rainer had been together "on-and-off for a year."

"My daughter was a very sweet, loving child," she said, also describing her as a "happy-go-lucky woman with a beautiful smile."

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