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3 men charged in death of missing Bemidji woman Rose Downwind


The former boyfriend of Rose Downwind is now charged with second-degree murder in connection with her disappearance.

Downwind, a mother of five from the Bemidji area, was reported missing in October – police and investigators have searched for her since, and on Thursday reported finding a body in a shallow grave northwest of the city.

Marchello Cimmarusti – Downwind's former boyfriend who initially told police he'd last seen her voluntarily getting into a car with someone – was charged Friday in Beltrami County. (Click here to read the criminal complaint.)

Two others – Brandon Rossbach, 31, and Christopher Davis, 27 – are charged with aiding an offender.

According to the charges:

The 40-year-old told investigators this week things "spun out of control" on Oct. 20.

The two got into an argument at a Bemidji residence, and Downwind pulled out her phone to document that he was violating a no contact order. Cimmarusti then tried to take the phone from her hand, and while doing so put his shoulder into her.

She fell down a cement stairway, on to a wooden landing. Cimmarusti checked on her and noticed blood coming from the side of her mouth, and no pulse. He did not attempt CPR.

He then contacted Davis, who ended up at the house with Rossbach. Cimmarusti and Davis took Downwind's body from the basement, put it into a truck, and the three drove outside the city and down a trail.

Law enforcement obtained video from a Bemidji Wal-Mart dated shortly after midnight on Oct. 21, showing Davis and Rossbach purchasing Styrofoam items.

There, they dug a hole and placed Downwind's body in it, along with Styrofoam cups, plastic bags and the wooden board from the basement floor.

They set it all on fire, watched for an hour or two, then returned home.

A look at Davis' phone records turned up a search for “how hot does a fire have to be to burn through bone” a few days later.

Cimmarusti, according to the charges, led investigators to the spot he said they buried Downwind. Authorities found a burned body, which was exhumed and sent to the Ramsey County medical Examiner for identification.

Cimmarusti and Rossbach both appeared in court Friday – members of Downwind's family filled the rows in the courtroom, the Bemidji Pioneer reports. Cimmarusti is due back in February, while Rossbach has a court date for later this month.

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