Skip to main content

Man pleads guilty in 2019 murder of Outing woman

Joshua Emil Karjala's sentencing is set for June.
Michelle missing outing

The man charged in the 2019 murder of an Outing, Minnesota woman, who was missing for more than two weeks before her body was found, pleaded guilty Thursday.

Joshua Emil Karjala, 34, of Swatara, was charged with second-degree murder in November 2019 in the death of Michelle Mae, 35.

Mae’s disappearance in October 2019 sparked a two-week search, which ended when her body was found on Karjala’s property.

Mae was first reported missing on Oct. 3, with her ex-boyfriend, ex-husband, daughter and son all telling authorities they last heard from her the day before. Mae’s cell phone had been switched off at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 3.

Police found Mae’s vehicle on Oct. 4 off the Soo Line ATV Trail near Swatara, 0.3 miles from Karjala’s property. Tire marks and the keys in the ignition indicated she had come to an abrupt stop, according to authorities.

One of Mae’s friends later disclosed she had been texting with a man named "Jashua,” who was identified as Karjala. In texts he called Mae “babe” and gave her his address.

Karjala told authorities he met Mae through the website Plenty of Fish and that they had met up to have sex on a few occasions.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Further searches of Karjala's house revealed multiple items that belonged to Mae, and eventually a trap door leading to the crawl space with blood on the door. Mae’s body was found on Oct. 15 when police searched the crawl space.

Karjala also admitted to an officer while in custody for an unrelated charge that he "overdosed on ecstasy, strangled a girl, and she was now missing."

According to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department, Joshua Emil Karjala was scheduled to make his first court appearance in June, but pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday. His sentencing is now set for June. 

Next Up

pixabay-fire-truck-side-close

Firefighters respond to smoke-filled cabin to find man asleep inside

A wood stove was determined to be the cause of the smoke.

snow plow msp airport

MSP snowplow drivers reach contract agreement after threatening strike

Teamsters Local 320 reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission Saturday.

Kellen Moore

What you should know about the Vikings' head coach candidates

Seven candidates were revealed on Saturday morning.

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_1119 (2)

What is the next Minnesota Vikings GM inheriting?

A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Vikings' roster and situation

ambulance

Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.48.35 AM

Man gets 10 years for fatal pawn shop fire during Minneapolis riots

The incident, which took place during riots in May 2020,  resulted in one man's death.

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Election officials dismiss conservative group's complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar

The group alleged that she used campaign funds on her future husband's consulting firm.

Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 9.53.04 AM

Reports: 6 names surface in Vikings' search for new head coach

Six names have surfaced Saturday in the Minnesota Vikings' hunt for a new head coach.

Related

Dayne Sitladeen

Canadian rapper wanted for murder pleads guilty to possessing 67 guns in MN

Dayne Adrian Sitladeen pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Rodney Velho

Minneapolis man pleads guilty in shooting of girlfriend's ex

Rodney Velho admitted to shooting his girlfriend's ex boyfriend while he was dropping off children for a visit.

u.s. attorney

Minneapolis man and woman plead guilty to armed carjacking last summer

As part of their pleas, the two also admitted to multiple other carjackings in the Twin Cities.

Stock market chart

Ex-council member pleads guilty to stock manipulation scheme

Mark Allen Miller pleaded guilty alongside one other man to conspiracy to commit security fraud in U.S. District Court.

Michelle missing outing

Body found in northern MN believed to be that of missing woman

The 35-year-old has been missing for almost two weeks.