Body found in search for missing Bemidji woman, 2 arrested

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 (Photo: Bemidji Police Department)

(Photo: Bemidji Police Department)

Police searching for missing Bemidji mother Rose Downwind have found and exhumed a body from a "shallow grave" northwest of the city – and two people have been arrested.

Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin confirmed Wednesday morning the body was found and sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy to confirm the identity.

Two men, aged 40 and 31, have been arrested for their roles in the case. The 40-year-old is Downwind's ex-boyfriend and it was reported Thursday morning he had been booked into Beltrami County jail on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Another man remains a person of interest in the case.

Police say the discovery and subsequent arrests are the result of 50 days and hundreds of hours investigating the mother-of-five's disappearance, with assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Border Patrol and FBI.

The Forum News Service reports the 40-year-old has also been arrested on two domestic abuse offenses dating back to October – both of which relate to Downwind – and one count of disorderly conduct.

Major search effort

Rose Downwind was last seen alive at the Target in Bemidji on Oct. 19, though her ex told police he saw her leaving a residence in Stoner Avenue in Bemidji on Oct. 21.

After initially thinking Downwind, originally from Redby on the Red Lake Nation, may have taken off on her own, investigators later said she was most likely the victim of a violent attack.

The Bemidji Pioneer reports her disappearance sparked a major search that centered around Lake Bemidji State Park and the Buena Vista State Forest, with thousands of volunteers joining the search effort.

Also involved in the search is Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman, who is a friend of Downwind's grandfather Dennis Banks and put up a $10,000 reward to find her.

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