St. Paul's Karen community mourns after beloved member is stabbed to death

Paw Boh Htoo was reportedly trying to help her neighbor escape domestic abuse.

The woman who was stabbed to death in St. Paul this week – marking the city's 20th's homicide this year – has been identified as a member of St. Paul's Karen community. 

Paw Boh Htoo was 29 years old, and worked at the Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM).

She died Tuesday night following a stabbing at an apartment on Edmund Avenue West, where the Pioneer Press says she had tried to intervene in a "domestic incident" involving her neighbors.

According to the paper, authorities say the suspect – 61-year-old Htoo Day – attacked Htoo while she attempted to help his wife move out of the apartment following a fight between the couple. 

KSTP says Day – suspected of having been drunk at the time of the stabbing – was soon arrested, and on Thursday, charged with second-degree murder.

Day and his family immigrated to the U.S. from Thailand last year, the station notes.

The Karen community mourns

The victim, like her accused attacker, was also an immigrant, having grown up in a village in Myanmar, according to her KOM staff bio

In 2004, Htoo relocated to a Thai refugee camp, where she worked with Karen women's and youth organizations, and arrived in the U.S. in 2011. There are about 10,000 Karen people now in the St. Paul area, MinnPost has reported.

Htoo was also a "parent and former board member" of the Sejong Academy, a Korean immersion school in St. Paul. 

Describing her as a "dear friend," the academy on Thursday asked the community to support Htoo's family by donating to a YouCaring fundraiser. 

They're seeking $5,000 to help relatives pay for funeral expenses. So far they're raised a little over $400.

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