Sarah Ferguson reveals her long time personal assistant has been in murdered in Texas – as the Duchess of York says she is ‘shocked and saddened’
- The body of Jenean Chapman, 46, was found at her Dallas home on Monday
Sarah Ferguson has paid tribute to her former personal assistant after she was murdered in the United States.
The 63-year-old said Ms Chapman, 46, was a ‘loyal, hardworking, beautiful and fun’ woman and pledged to help her family pay for her funeral costs.
Ms Chapman’s body was found by police at her apartment in Dallas, Texas, on Monday just five months after moving to the city.
A 48-year-old man, James Patrick, was arrested by police in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday on suspicion of her murder, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported. He remains in custody.
Sarah Ferguson has paid tribute to her former personal assistant Jenean Chapman after she was murdered in Texas. Pictured: The Duchess of York (left) in a car with Ms Chapman (right)
Jenean Chapman’s body was found by police at her apartment in Dallas, Texas, on Monday afternoon
Ms Chapman began working with the Duchess of York as her first job after graduating from New York’s Syracuse University with a degree in TV, film and production.
In a statement released on her Instagram page, the Duchess wrote: ‘I am shocked and saddened to learn that Jenean Chapman, who worked with me as my personal assistant many years ago, has been murdered in Dallas aged just 46. A suspect is in custody.
‘Jenean was loyal, hardworking, beautiful and fun and my heart breaks for her family and friends. I heard from her just a couple of months ago and she seemed so happy. 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 at the link in my bio.’
According to a LinkedIn page, Ms Chapman worked with Sarah Ferguson for four years between 2001 and 2005 where she assisted with the Duchess’s travel, press and tour plans, as well as handling her research and diary.
Ms Chapman’s family claimed that after living in New York, she had worked in San Francisco before travelling to Dallas for a new job.
Speaking to reporters after her body was found, Ms Chapman’s sister, Nicole Marshall said: ‘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 what I wanted to accomplish in my corporate career.’
Another sibling, Crystal Marshall, said: ‘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.’
Nicole added: ‘She was just an accomplished intellectual. She was a kind person and compassionate. She had a heart of mush.’
Police discovered Ms Chapman’s body at her apartment in Elm Street, Dallas, at around 1.15pm on Monday, September 25.
Her passing was initially investigated as ‘unexplained’, before a post-mortem determined her death was a homicide.
A day later James Patrick, 48, was arrested by University of Texas Police on suspicion of murder.
Ms Chapman’s family has set up a fundraiser to help with the costs of transporting her body from Texas to New York City and the funeral fees. You can view this here.