Melissa Madelyn Zielinski, 47, of Sandstone has been charged with second degree murder after an Aug. 27 shooting in Lino Lakes.
According to the criminal complaint, the Lino Lakes Police Department and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a shooting on Shadow Lake Drive in Lino Lakes.
Upon arrival they spoke with the homeowner who told them he had noticed an unfamiliar black SUV in the driveway. When he entered his home he encountered an unknown male and female. He followed them outside and asked what they were doing. According to the homeowner, The male stated words to effect of “Your son stole on me” and “I’ll take you out, too.” They then got in the vehicle and drove away.
The homeowner said he then went downstairs and found his son, Karl Henderson, deceased.
A Hi-Point 9mm handgun was found on the floor near the body, the weapon was unknown to anyone in the house. A forensic lab tested the DNA from the grip of the handgun and developed a major male DNA profile that matched to Nicholas Walter Zielinski, 43.
The homeowner positively identified Nicholas as the man he saw leaving his home. After investigation, law enforcement believed the female was likely to be Nicholas’s sister Melissa.
Officers then obtained cell phone tracking information on both Zielinski’s phones which put them at the scene of the murder. Text messages found on Melissa’s phone indicated that she and Nicholas were “going to collect some money that’s owed to me hopefully.”
Further investigation revealed that a friend of Melissa’s was planning on purchasing the home where she lived in Sandstone. The friend told officers that the closing on that home was due to take place on Aug. 28. He then informed officers that just hours before the closing, he was told that approximately $4,000 was required as, “Cash needed to close.” The friend told officers that he supplied the money from his account, but that on the morning of the closing, Aug. 28, the defendant unexpectedly provided him with $3,000 in cash to offset the amount due.
Melissa Zielinski has eight prior felony convictions including burglarizing the old school in Sandstone and injuring an officer while trying to escape a felony arrest. If convicted of second-degree murder Zielinski is facing three to 40 years in prison.