Family of woman found dead inside downtown Dallas apartment is ‘relieved' suspect is in custody

Police say the suspect was arrested in Austin on Tuesday. The victim's family says the person in custody is the victim's husband of two months.

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The family of 46-year-old Jenean Chapman said they were blindsided after learning their sister was killed. Police found the woman's body inside her downtown Dallas apartment on Monday.

"We're just in shock, and we're trying to gather ourselves and collect all the missing pieces of information," said Crystal Marshall, one of Chapman's three sisters.

"We're in a state of shock. Definitely feel blindsided. We're trying to be a support system for our mother, but it's just a really hard time," said Nicole Marshall, another sister.

They said Chapman had moved to Dallas about five months ago for a new job.

"She's had a plethora of accolades throughout the years, and then in her last role, she was a senior vice president at Critical Mass over digital marketing. Also, in conjunction with that, she was about to start her own business," said Crystal.

The sisters said Chapman didn't show up to work and that her job called the police for a wellness check. NBC DFW reached out to the company for a statement and is waiting to hear back.

"That's what kind of sounded the alarm that something was not right," Crystal explained.

Dallas Police said officers arrived in the 1400 block of Elm Street on Monday around 1:15 p.m. for a wellness check.

They found Chapman dead inside her apartment, and on Tuesday, the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office determined her death was a homicide. The family said investigators believe her body may have been there for several days.

On Wednesday, DPD said 48-year-old James Patrick was arrested in Austin, Texas, by the University of Texas Police and would be charged with murder.

"He pretty much checked himself into a hospital. That's how we were able to find him," said Crystal.

Patrick currently remains in custody in Travis County.

"We are relieved, we have been in constant contact with the detective, and he made us aware of the arrest," explained Crystal. "We're happy at this point that an arrest has been made, but we're definitely not stopping, and we want to get the word out for sure."

"We want this investigation to go smoothly. Jenean deserves justice for what happened to her," said Nicole.

Police have not released many details about how Chapman was killed or the suspect's relationship with the victim, but the family said the two were married.

"The most we can just say is that the relationship was toxic," said Nicole.

The sisters said the pair had been married for only two months but had known each other for about six years.

“We were shocked because before that it was an on-and-off relationship. It was rocky, we were aware of that. She broke the news to our mother (about the marriage) and of course our mother told us and yeah, we definitely didn't see that coming. And no, there was no wedding, so we weren't involved, unfortunately," explained Nicole.

The family said they don't personally know Patrick that well.

They are not sharing too many details because they don't want to jeopardize the police investigation.

"We are seeking justice for her and we are willing to do anything in our power to make sure that happens and seek the fullest extent of the law to make sure this guy stays behind bars," Crystal explained.

As the family copes with the loss of their sister, they reflect on Chapman's accomplishments, determination, and kindness.

"She was a force to be reckoned with, she was a role model. She was an amazing person, and I still look up to her. I always look up to her as like what I wanted to accomplish in my corporate career," cried Nicole.

Chapman was born and raised in New Jersey, Jamaica, and lived in New York. She graduated from Syracuse University with a TV, film, and production degree.

"Her first job out of college was working with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. So she worked with the royal family as a personal assistant, and then from there, she worked at Def Jam, so she worked with the Simmons family," explained Crystal.

From there, their sister continued to work up the corporate ladder.

They said she moved from New York City to San Francisco, California, and then to Dallas.

“She was just an accomplished intellectual. She was a kind person and compassionate. She had a heart of mush," said Nicole.

"Even though she was an independent Black woman, she was the definition of that, but she had that sweet softness to her as well," described Crystal.

They went on to explain that Chapman loved to volunteer, loved dogs, and was a proud aunt.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help transport Chapman's body to New York and also help with the legal fees for when it's time for a trial.

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