Family members of murdered St Paul woman remember her as strong-willed, determined

Susie Jones
July 24, 2018 - 3:15 pm

Overcome by grief, Krystal Hollins choked back tears as she described the pain of losing her only sister.

"She did not deserve to be murdered the way she was," said Hollins.

Police were called to Shana Hollins' town home about 7 am Monday. They found her body, and a 16-year-old relative who they say had been raped repeatedly for hours.

They arrested 33-year-old Ivan Dan Walker of East Saint Louis, Illinois. He is in the Ramsey County jail facing charges of sexual assault.

He is also a "person of interest" in the death of Shana Hollins, but has not been charged. One family members told WCCO Radio, that the man was Shana's ex-boyfriend.

Krystal Hollins met with reporters on Tuesday at Lake Phalen Park. "It's important for me to tell you that she was stubborn."

But she was also very strong-willed, and determined. The Hollins family grew up in New Orleans and moved to the Twin Cities after Hurricane Katrina.  Krystal said when they were young, they used to chase alley cats.

"And she would find one and that's the one she wanted. She used to call me giraffe, because I'm so tall, and she'd say Raffie, go get it."

Shana Hollins leaves behind three children ages 20, 14 and 7.

"Last night, I had to tell my youngest nephew his mom was dead. How do you do that?" Krystal Hollins said.

As the meeting with reporters wrapped up, she broke down. "That was my sister. I don't have anybody else."

The family has set up a "GoFundMe" page to help pay for funeral expenses.