Former assistant to Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, found dead in Dallas apartment

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, mourned the death of her former personal assistant on Friday, two days after Dallas police announced the arrest of a suspect charged with her murder.

“Jenean was loyal, hardworking, beautiful and funny and my heart breaks for her family and friends,” the Duchess, also known as Sarah Ferguson, said in a post on her social media pages.

On Monday afternoon, officers responding to an unspecified call for help found 46-year-old Jenean Chapman dead in a downtown apartment, the Dallas Police Department said in a statement.

According to police, the Dallas County coroner’s office concluded Tuesday that her death was a homicide. Authorities released no further details about her death.

Also that day, a suspect, James Patrick, 48, was arrested by University of Texas at Austin police in connection with Chapman’s killing, police said.

Patrick is expected to be charged with murder, Dallas police said in a statement released Wednesday.

He remained jailed Friday in Travis County on $100,000 bail, according to inmate records.

A possible motive was unclear and it was not clear whether the suspect retained legal representation in the case. The Travis County Public Defender’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Relatives told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth Chapman and Patrick had been married for several months and had a difficult relationship for years.

“We were shocked because it was an on-and-off relationship before,” sister Nicole Marshall told the station. “It was rocky, we knew that.”

Ferguson mourned Chapman’s death on social media Friday. She shared a picture of Chapman and herself in the backseat of a Lincoln Town Car and vowed to donate money to a crowdfunding effort to pay for her body to be transported to New York.

“I am shocked and saddened to learn that Jenean Chapman, who worked with me as my personal assistant many years ago, was murdered in Dallas at just 46 years old,” Ferguson wrote.

She continued: “I just heard from her a few months ago and she seemed so happy.”

Sister Crystal Marshall said Chapman most recently served as a senior vice president at Critical Mass, a digital marketing company, and also worked at the music company Def Jam. She plans to embark on a new journey and start her own business, Marshall told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

Chapman is the definition of an “independent black woman,” she said.

“We are in a state of shock,” Nicole Marshall told the Dallas station. “We definitely feel blindsided. “We’re trying to be a support system for our mom, but it’s just a really hard time.”

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