Family of Woman Burned to Death by Boyfriend Recalls ‘Years of Pain’

Kate Raddatz, WCCO Minneapolis, October 3, 2017

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The family of a woman set on fire by her boyfriend is speaking out.

They are sharing her story in the hope that it will help others in abusive relationships get help.

Vanessa Danielson, 36, died after police say her boyfriend, 32-year-old Wyndale Fayson, doused her bed in gasoline and lit it on fire while she was sleeping on Sept. 28. Danielson died from her injuries.

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Wendy Stepanchak, Danielson’s mother, says her daughter was a vulnerable adult, and that she wouldn’t call police because she was afraid of what Fayson would do.

Stepanchak says after her daughter refused to move in with her, she contacted Adult Protective Services — but they sent her a letter saying they couldn’t help.

“I ripped it up and threw it away,” Stepanchak said. “I said I’ve done everything I can.”

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Two months later, police say he lit Danielson on fire at her northeast Minneapolis apartment.

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A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Danielson’s family with funeral expenses and the future care of her son.

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