Mourners remember Anarae Schunk at memorial service in Burnsvile

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A capacity crowd filled a Burnsville auditorium Sunday to pay tribute to the 20-year life of Anarae Schunk.

The Star Tribune reports family members, teachers, University of Minnesota professors, and childhood friends paid homage to the U of M student. The newspaper reports Schunk's friend and chess coach, Brian Ribnick, said “This isn’t how things were supposed to play out. I had hoped Anarae would be speaking at my memorial someday."

Earlier in the day, a separate Star Tribune story  detailed the criminal background of the ex-boyfriend with whom Schunk was last seen. The newspaper reports that friends and family disapproved when Schunk began dating Anthony Lee Nelson after meeting him at a bus stop last summer. The story says the two were a couple for a few months and that Schunk apparently thought she could help Nelson.

Last week Schunk's body was found in a roadside ditch near Lonsdale after she had been missing for nine days. Rosemount police say they believe she died at a townhouse where she went with Nelson and his girlfriend after they left Nina's Grill in Burnsville early Sept. 22. Nelson is accused of killing Palagor Jobi of Savage outside the bar. Police said Schunk's death is related to that investigation, but is being treated separately. Charges in her death are not expected for several weeks.

Nelson has been incarcerated for ten of the past 14 years. He was accused or convicted of at least seven violent crimes. He served nearly eight years for his most recent robbery convictions.

“You are a frightening and disturbing young man,” Hennepin County District Judge Heidi Schellhas told Nelson after sentencing him.

Schunk ended her relationship with Nelson last fall but recently reconnected with him. Her best friend said she wanted to retrieve $5,000 that she had loaned him.

“I will say the way they were going to get it back was very dangerous for her,” Sarah Chacos said after Schunk disappeared.

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