Sarah Ferguson’s Former Assistant Jenean Chapman Killed: ‘My Heart Breaks for Her Family and Friends’

Chapman's sisters say she was married to the suspect

<p>Sarah Ferguson/instagram</p> Sarah Ferguson and Jenean Chapman

Sarah Ferguson/instagram

Sarah Ferguson and Jenean Chapman

Sarah Ferguson is mourning the death of her former personal assistant Jenean Chapman, who was killed in Dallas earlier this week.

On Friday, the Duchess of York said she was “shocked and saddened” to find out about the tragedy.

“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,” Ferguson wrote on Instagram.

The first slide in the post contained an old shot of the ladies riding in the backseat of a car together. In the next slide, she included a photo of the victim smiling.

<p>Sarah Ferguson/instagram</p> Sarah Ferguson and Jenean Chapman

Sarah Ferguson/instagram

Sarah Ferguson and Jenean Chapman

“Jenean was loyal, hardworking, beautiful and fun and my heart breaks for her family and friends,” Ferguson added of Chapman. She noted that the two spoke just “a couple of months ago” and that her former assistant “seemed so happy.”

Related: Sarah Ferguson Reflects on Princess Diana's Unique Character and Heart: 'Nobody Like Her in the World'

“Her family is raising money to transport her body back to New York City and pay for legal and funeral costs,” the Duchess of York continued.

Before ending the post, Ferguson shared that she would be “making a donation and supporting the family in any way possible,” and that others could contribute by heading to Chapman’s GoFundMe account. Ferguson added a link to the campaign in her Instagram bio.

According to The Dallas Morning News, University of Texas Police arrested James Patrick, 48, on Tuesday night in Austin. He is now in custody in Travis County, the Dallas Police Department said.

Chapman’s body was found inside of a downtown Dallas apartment in the 1400 block of Elm Street about 1:15 p.m on Monday. The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Officer ruled her death to be a homicide, police said.

Patrick was booked into the Travis County Jail on Tuesday evening, according to online records. It is not immediately known if he has obtained an attorney. He "will be charged with Murder," police said.

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Crystal Marshall, one of Chapman's three sisters, spoke to NBC5 DFW about the loss of her sibling.

"We're just in shock, and we're trying to gather ourselves and collect all the missing pieces of information," Marshall shared.

"Definitely feel blindsided," another sister, Nicole Marshall, told NBC5 DFW. "We're trying to be a support system for our mother, but it's just a really hard time."

According to the family members, Chapman was new to the Dallas area and had only been living there for about five months for a job.

<p>gofundme</p> Jenean Chapman


Jenean Chapman

"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," Marshall told NBC5. "Also, in conjunction with that, she was about to start her own business."

It was Chapman’s employer who alerted authorities after the 46-year-old did not show up for work.

"That's what kind of sounded the alarm that something was not right," Marshall told NBC5.

“We have been in constant contact with the detective, and he made us aware of the arrest," Marshall said. "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."

Related: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Wants to End the 'Shroud of Silence' on Domestic Abuse

The sisters told NBC5 that Chapman and Patrick were married, had a “toxic” relationship, and that they were not involved with their wedding. Her sisters said the two were married for two months but knew each other for about six years.

Chapman is remembered by her loved ones as “a force to be reckoned with” and “a role model.”

"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," Marshall told NBC5.

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