After remains are identified, police seek answers in Burnsville mother's death

Elizabeth Perrault had been missing for several months.
Publish date:

As friends and family come to terms with the death of mother-of-three Elizabeth Perrault, police are now probing how her body came to be found in a pond by the Minnesota River in Burnsville.

The ice-encased remains found last Sunday beneath I-35W were on Thursday confirmed to be the 41-year-old, who had not been seen since early winter.

There have been conflicting reports about when she was reported missing, with some suggesting it was as early as December, with her live-in boyfriend reportedly telling police he hadn't seen her since November.

But Burnsville police say they didn't start their investigation until Feb. 22, when two friends reported her missing.

A search warrant executed in February at her abandoned apartment uncovered a large blood stain on a section of carpet and the pad beneath.

Police are currently awaiting the results of an autopsy that will determine how she died, but believe her death to be suspicious, saying they are confident she did not drown.


– Remains found near Minnesota River are Burnsville mother. 

– Sign up for our daily newsletters

A loving mother, who battled personal demons

While police intensify their investigation, those who knew Perrault have been paying tribute to the mother of three children – sons Jack and Will, and daughter Ella.

Perrault has been described as a person of love and kindness, but one who battled personal demons.

A GoFundMe account set up to pay for her funeral expenses described her as "one of the most giving and down to earth people you would ever meet."

"Elizabeth left a path of human kindness wherever she went and with whomever she met," it reads. "Her children are so much like her in so many ways, they will definitely be her legacy."

But it goes on to say that Perrault "struggled" with demons over the past eight years.

Her aunt, Schar Ward, told the Star Tribune that Perrault had a "very troubled soul" as she grew older, and had struggled with alcoholism.

Posts on her Facebook page meanwhile suggests that she was undergoing chemotherapy as recently as June.

She was last seen alive by her apartment manager when she paid her rent on Nov. 1, at which point she was said to be looking sick and underweight.

Next Up