Jenean Chapman, 46, was found murdered inside her flat in Dallas, Texas this week, leaving her former employer, Sarah Ferguson, “shocked and saddened”.
The former personal assistant to the Duchess of York was found dead by police officers at 1.15pm on Monday, September 25 – a day later her death was determined to be a homicide.
Although the cause of death has not yet been revealed, a 48-year-old named James Patrick – allegedly her husband – has been arrested in connection with her death.
In a statement released on Wednesday, police said he is expected to be charged with murder and is currently in custody in Travis County.
Jenean’s family told NBC Dallas-Fort that she had been married to Patrick for a few months, and they had been in a turbulent relationship for years.
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Her sister Nicole Marshall said: “We were shocked because before that it was an on-and-off relationship. It was rocky, we were aware of that.”
Another one of her sisters, Crystal, said: “We’re just in shock, and we’re trying to gather ourselves and collect all the missing pieces of information.”
Chapman spent four years working with the office of Sarah Ferguson in the early 2000s.
Crystal said her sister’s latest role was a senior vice president at Critical Mass, a digital marketing firm, and she also worked at music company Def Jam.
According to her family, the 46-year-old was planning to start her own business.
“We’re in a state of shock,” Nicole Marshall told the Dallas station. “Definitely feel blindsided. We’re trying to be a support system for our mother, but it’s just a really hard time.”
The Duchess of York appealed to help Jenean’s family bring her home in the wake of the tragedy.
She wrote on Instagram: “Her family is raising money to transport her body back to New York City and pay for legal and funeral costs. I will be making a donation and supporting the family in any way possible—please help if you can.”
Chapman’s family has created a GoFundMe page in her name, urging those who can donate to help with the cost of transportation and for assistance with legal fees in order to help “provide justice”.