Autopsy finds Rose Downwind likely died of strangulation; charges amended


New details about the death of Rose Downwind have led to amended charges against the former boyfriend accused of killing her.

Marchello Cimmarusti was initially charged with second-degree murder without intent in connection with the death of the Bemidji mother-of-five.

Cimmarusti had told police Downwind, his former girlfriend, died after falling down stairs, at which point he and a cohort drove the body outside the city and burned it, the initial charges note.

But according to an amended criminal complaint (filed Monday, WDAZ reports), the Ramsey County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on Downwind's body – during which he found a ligature wire around her neck.

The examiner determined Downwind died of "homicidal violence," the likely cause being strangulation.

The amended complaint says Cimmarusti never told investigators about a ligature wire, which still existed (though was charred) despite the fire.

He's now charged with second-degree intentional murder, which if convicted carries a penalty of up to 40 years in prison.

WDAZ says he has a hearing Feb. 18.

Two others – Brandon Rossbach, 31, and Christopher Davis, 27 – are charged with aiding an offender, though Davis is not in custody at this time.

Downwind was reported missing in October – her body was found in a shallow grave northwest of the city two months later.

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