1 four Mandy: UMD retires number of slain softball player

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Nearly a year after Mandy Matula's body was found, she was honored by her former softball team at the University of Minnesota Duluth's homecoming football game.

Matula, who is believed to have been killed by her ex-boyfriend in May 2013, was a starting pitcher and utility player for the Bulldogs before graduating in 2011.

The university retired her No. 14 softball jersey Saturday. She became the first NCAA Division II athlete at UMD to be honored this way, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Family, friends and about 30 past and present UMD softball players, including all of Matula's former teammates, were in attendance.

"Mandy was an all-around amazing young woman on and off the field. She emulated everything we want a Bulldog softball player to be and ... we are so proud to honor her by retiring her No. 14," UMD head coach Jen Banford said in a news release.

Her jersey will hang from the center-field wall at Malosky Stadium.

"We are so very honored to know today that all these people have come together to remember our daughter Mandy. She loved Duluth. She loved UMD," Wayne Matula, Mandy's father, said, according to WDIO. "The Bulldogs was her team, and for us to be able to see all the people who remember her, honor her ... it's a blessing to us."

Earlier this year, UMD and the Matula family established the UMD Softball 1 Four Mandy Matula Fund, which provides financial support to the university's softball program.

Money from the fund has gone to a new sound system, new fencing, a shelter and a portable ball stop, the Star Tribune reports.

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Matula’s disappearance, discovery

Matula, 24, was last seen alive on May 1, 2013, leaving her Eden Prairie home.

David Roe, her former boyfriend, shot and killed himself the next day while in his car at the police department parking lot before police could interview him.

She became the subject of multiple volunteer searches in the western Twin Cities and central Minnesota, as searchers combed through areas for days on end.

Matula’s remains were found in a park near Sartell in Stearns County in October; tests showed she died of a gunshot wound to the head.

In July of this year, officials announced Matula's case was closed and they released documents invovled with the investigation.

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