Police say human remains found near Sartell this weekend are those of Mandy Matula.
As Fox 9 reports, Eden Prairie police say the Ramsey County Medical Examiner has identified the remains as those of the 24-year-old Matula,who had been missing since May.
The Star Tribune reports her father, Wayne Matula, said police told him Mandy was killed by a single gunshot to the head. The body had apparently been buried in a shallow grave which had been disturbed by animals, Wayne Matula told the newspaper. Authorities say a Boy Scout leader who was hiking in Mississippi River County Park on Saturday discovered the remains.
A friend of Matula tells the St. Cloud Times "I'm glad it's done. Now that she's home, she can be put to rest."
In the Pioneer Press' update on Sunday, Matula's brother Steve said"We are planning a funeral and we'll figure out more throughout the week." "Grace Church (in Eden Prairie) is a possibility."
On Sunday morning, WCCO-TV reported that Steven Matula said the family will drive to the park where the remains were found on Monday.
The Star Tribune reports Matula’s class ring was recovered at the scene. Her father said her tattered softball jersey embroidered with her number was found near the remains, according to a report from KARE 11.
The remains were discovered at 2 p.m. Saturday by a hiker in a shallow grave at Mississippi River Park in Rice. The Matula family was notified at 4 p.m. The park has been the focus of searches since she vanished May 1.
Matula was last seen in Eden Prairie with David Roe, with whom she had once had a relationship. Police had contacted him for questioning in the case, but he died after he shot himself May 2, just before investigators could talk to him. Police have said Matula’s blood was found on a jacket in Roe’s vehicle.
Police last month had asked hunters to keep an eye out for clues in the case as they were out in the fields and woods.
Loved ones have tried to keep the search for Matula in the public's view, in part with updates to a Facebook page dedicated to searches for the missing.