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October 26, 2013 . . . BREAKING NEWS

Remains Found in Stearns County Could Be Mandy Matula

Mandy Matual, 24, has been missing since May 1.
Mandy Matula, 24, has been missing since May 1.

By Cassie Hart

Updated: 10/26/2013 at 11:41 PM

The family of a 24-year-old Eden Prairie woman who has been missing since May, says remains found in Stearns County could be Mandy Matula.

Mandy’s father, Wayne Matula, tells KSTP police believe they found the remains of Mandy. “I’s a blessing because we now have something concrete to work with. It’s preliminary but the remains could be Mandy’s.”

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 main focus of searches since she vanished May 1.

The Eden Prairie Police Department and Stearns County Sheriff’s Office are also assisting the BCA in the investigation. They are working on positively identifying the remains.

Wayne Matula tells KSTP authorities will process the crime scene through the night. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Sunday. The results are expected Tuesday or Wednesday.

Wayne Matula says investigators told him they found a sweatshirt with a University of Minnesota-Duluth logo with the number 14 near the remains. That was a key piece of evidence linking the remains to Mandy, because she played fast pitch softball at UMD and was number 14.

Mandy Matula was last seen with her boyfriend, David Roe, who killed himself in a police station parking lot when he was there for questioning in her disappearance.

No further details were available.

Stay with for updates on this developing story.


Steven Matula, brother of Mandy Marie Matula who has been missing from Eden Prairie, Minn., since the early hours of Thursday, May 2, 2013, directing volunteer search efforts along the Mississippi River in Sartell and Rice, Minn., from his mobile headquaters at Northside Park in Sartell on Sunday, May 5.

Facebook: Finding Mandy Matula


Related report

Volunteers Search St. Cloud Area for Missing Eden Prairie Woman

Volunteers break between searches for missing woman Mandy Matula on Sunday afternoon in Mississippi County Park between Sartell and Rice. (Photo credit: Kimm Anderson / St. Cloud Times)

By Ben Katzner
St. Cloud Times
May 5, 2013

The search for Mandy Matula — the 24-year-old Eden Prairie woman who went missing [Thursday, May 2, 2013] — stretched to St. Cloud and the surrounding areas Sunday, after previous searches yielded few clues about her whereabouts.

Matula has been missing since leaving her family’s home late Wednesday. The man police believe she was last with, 24-year-old David Roe of Victoria, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said Saturday.

Roe shot himself in the head Thursday in the Eden Prairie Police Department’s parking lot after previously agreeing to be questioned by authorities.

Matula’s brother, Steven, said in a Facebook post Saturday that the search stretched down the Interstate Highway 94 corridor in response to information gathered through Roe’s cellphone records. Josh Truax, a friend of Matula’s, led a search party of about 30 people at Mississippi River Park in Sartell. …

Truax began making his way to the St. Cloud area at about 10 a.m. Sunday. He, along with a larger search group, stopped at rest stops and any areas under suspicion along the way to the St. Cloud area. …

Roe was enrolled at St. Cloud State University, Adam Hammer, the university’s director of media relations, confirmed to the St. Cloud Times on Saturday. According to information posted by Steven Matula on the “Finding Mandy Matula” Facebook page, search locations have been dictated by areas where Roe’s cellphone got registered at a cellphone tower, also known as a ping. The night Mandy Matula went missing, Roe’s cellphone had pings leading up to St. Cloud.

“Based on things that we were told, there were some ties to the St. Cloud and Sartell area as well as Maple Grove,” Truax said. “We’ve just been following up with whatever (information) we’ve been privileged with … by the police.” …

Truax urged people in the area to check things such as trash bins and other possible hiding places for clues. The search has been limited to public property and Truax said he believes that if people on private property search their premises, it might be easier to unearth information.

St. Cloud State University softball players Jackie Manrique and Breana Canova were two of about 10 members of the team to participate in the search Sunday. The group found out about Matula’s disappearance as they were wrapping up play Sunday in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament in Rochester.

The news struck a particular chord with the team because Matula had played softball for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs throughout college. …

Full report


5/9/2013 Update

Important information for residents of Rice, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, and St. Cloud

Mandy Matula flyer at the Mississippi River public water access at 5231 Benton County Road 55, off Benton County Road 33, about 2 miles upstream from the Sartell paper mill and dam. (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)

Based on cell phone pings, David Roe, who likely murdered Mandy Matula in Eden Prairie before shooting himself hours later, was in the Sartell area between approximately 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning, May 2 — most likely on or near Highway 10 in Benton County, but possibly on or near Stearns County Road 1 (Riverside Avenue).

If you think you saw David Roe or the vehicle in which he was traveling (see images below), please call the Eden Prairie Police Department at (952) 949-6200 to report the information.


mud on Dave's car


5/10/2013 Update

Update: Missing Person Investigation

Mandy Marie Matula

City of  Eden Prairie
May 10, 2013

Public Information Officers
Katie (Beal) Bengtson: 612-743-0291
Joyce Lorenz: 612-220-6612

Eden Prairie, Minn. – Eden Prairie Police continue to actively investigate the whereabouts of 24-year-old Mandy Marie Matula, who has been missing since the evening of May 1.

Over the weekend, Police will continue to work closely with the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department to search targeted areas of the Mississippi River, with assistance from St. Louis County law enforcement teams.

In addition, the Eden Prairie Police Department will continue to conduct targeted searches of specific areas as warranted by the investigation.

To aid those participating in community searches over the weekend, Eden Prairie Police are releasing descriptions of two articles of clothing Matula could possibly have been wearing on the night she disappeared:

  1. Black Nike Air tennis shoes, women’s size 8.5–9, with hot pink lining and a white swoosh on the side.
  2. A sweatshirt with a University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) logo on it.

Areas of interest in Carver, Wright, Stearns, Sherburne and Benton counties have been established and outlined in maps of targeted search areas where Matula could be located.

To view the search area maps, visit

Those who live within the targeted search areas, along with all residents of Eden Prairie, are asked to search their own property and neighborhoods, including nearby wooded and open areas.

While searching, Police remind the public to be safe, search only during daylight hours, avoid public roads and be respectful of private property.

Police continue to ask anyone with information on Matula’s whereabouts to call the Eden Prairie Police Department at 952-949-6200.

No further information about the investigation is available at this time. Future updates will be posted at


5/13/2013 Update

View downstream to the boat landing at Mississippi River County Park.
(Photo: Amy Ruegemer)

Based on cell phone pings, David Roe, who likely murdered Mandy Matula in Eden Prairie before shooting himself hours later, likely was traveling on Stearns County Road 1 between Sartell and Rice shortly before 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning, May 2, 2013.

The video below, taken late afternoon Sunday, May 12, depicts the terrain along this stretch of road adjacent to the west bank of the Mississippi River in northeast Stearns County, Minnesota.

  • 00:00 — St. Stephen Lions Club Riverview Park and public access boat ramp.
  • 01:24 — Stearns County Road 1 and 411th Street on southern boundary of Mississippi River County Park.
  • 01:59 — Entrance to Mississippi River County Park (park map — PDF).
  • 02:24 — Stearns County Road 1 and Xenia Road north of Mississippi River County Park.
  • 03:14 — Mississippi River bridge to Rice at convergence of Stearns County Road 1 and Stearns County Road 2.
  • 03:45 — Stony Creek at Stearns County Road 1 and Stearns County Road 17.


5/15/2013 Update

Amy Ruegemer scans the shoreline near the Rice bridge while Aubrey Immelman inspects the river for floating objects, May 15, 2013. (Click on images for larger display)

This afternoon, Amy Ruegemer and I searched a 10-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from the Sartell dam upstream to the Rice bridge. I have a high degree of confidence that no human remains were floating on the surface or washed up on the shoreline. The surface water temperature was 58 degrees F, compared with 51 degrees on Saturday, May 11.

More information about Mississippi River [Stearns] County Park

Boat Landing
Photo: The view downstream from the boat landing at Mississippi River County Park.

Updated 9/16/2013: According to Steven Matula, police investigators suspect that Mandy was at the park shortly after her disappearance; ten search dogs, including bloodhounds and cadaver dogs, independently scented on the same area between the boat launch and approximately 100 yards downriver along the shoreline.


5/17/2013 Update

Our "CHECK YOUR PROPERTY" DOOR HANGERS ARE IN!  Some people don't know that the police have issued a targeted search area for Mandy. This is a tool we can use to alert homeowners that their property is in that area. We have 2000 on hand, 5000 coming in today, and 5000 more if needed. We are going to use Twin Cities Kings Atlas segments to organize volunteers to prevent overlapping.  We have a few volunteers for EP already, will need Victoria area, Waconia area, and areas near 494N up into Sartell. Let us know here if you can help!
Many members of the public are unaware that the police have issued targeted search areas for Mandy Matula, so the volunteer search organization created “Please Check Your Property” door hangers to alert homeowners that their property is in that target area. Volunteers are needed to distribute door hangers in Eden Prairie, Victoria, Waconia, St. Cloud-Sartell, and surrounding areas in the target zone.


Volunteers Will Search for Matula in St. Cloud Area Saturday

Mandy Matula

St. Cloud Times
May 17, 2013

The search for Mandy Matula — a 24-year-old Eden Prairie woman who’s been missing for more than two weeks — will continue in the St. Cloud area this weekend.

Matula was last seen when she left her family’s home with David Marshall Roe on May 1. Roe, 24, of Victoria, shot himself in the parking lot of the Eden Prairie City Center on May 2, before he could discuss Matula’s whereabouts with officers. He later died.

St. Cloud State University officials confirmed that Roe was a student there, and cellphone data has shown that Roe was in the St. Cloud area after Matula was believed to have gone missing.

Anyone interested in participating in the search are can meet at Riverside Park in St. Cloud. The search group will be leaving the park to search for Matula at 10 a.m. Organizers ask that those who are participating to arrive between 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.

Anyone interested in participating in the search is asked to park at a base camp located across from the St. Cloud prison, which is at 2305 Minnesota Blvd. The group will search Riverside Park in St. Cloud. Those interested in helping are asked to meet before 10 a.m. Saturday.

Organizers are reminding those searching to wear bright, weather-appropriate clothing, bring water and to check regularly for wood ticks


Note: The search group will assemble in the area south of the St. Cloud Correctional Facility that shows up as white in the Google satellite image below. It is located across the street from St. Cloud prison visitor parking. Search team coordinator Josh Truax plans to park his silver Chrysler 300 with “Finding Mandy” flyer displayed on the rear window at the entrance to the street that leads to the assembly point.

Here is a snapshot of the meeting place in St. Cloud tomorrow. Opposite side of the Prison.


5/20/2013 Update

Mandy Matula: Search Warrant Clearly Points Finger at Boyfriend

KMSP-TV video

KMSP-TV Fox 9 (Minneapolis-St. Paul)
May 17, 2013

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — A search warrant filed Tuesday in Hennepin County definitively identifies David Roe as responsible for the death or disappearance of his girlfriend, Mandy Matula.

“Harm has come to Mandy Matula at the hands of David Roe and she has either been injured by David Roe or is involuntarily captive in a place chosen by David Roe,” the filing said.

David Roe’s story

At about 11:15 p.m. on May 2, Roe spoke with Eden Prairie police by phone after learning Matula never returned home the previous night. He gave the following information:

  • He went to Mandy’s house at 11 p.m. the night before.
  • Mandy got in the car and they went to Miller Park to talk.
  • He and Mandy were going through tough times and they were trying to work it out.
  • The discussion got heated, but never out of control.
  • Mandy got out of the car and began walking home.
  • He followed her in his car until she got to the entrance of Miller Park at Eden Prairie Road, at which point he drove off.
  • He arrived at his home in Victoria around 2 a.m.
  • He last saw her walking at the entrance to Miller Park

‘Play the last video I took’

At about 1:35 p.m. on May 2, David Roe pulled into the Eden Prairie City Center parking lot, where he agreed to meet with police and give a statement.

Officers saw Roe put a gun to his head. They confronted him, urging him to put the gun down, but Roe shot himself.

A Post-It note was left on the driver’s window, which read, “Play the last video I took for my brother Pat – I love you Pat! 7780”

A cell phone was on the floor of the SUV in plain view. It is presumed the numbers 7780 were the code to unlock his iPhone.

Facts putting blame on Roe

Investigators believe David Roe is responsible for the death or disappearance of Mandy Matula for the following reasons:

  • She was last seen by her parents entering Roe’s car at 11 p.m. on May 1.
  • She was attempting to break-up with Roe.
  • She left her cell phone and purse at home.
  • She is still missing and her location is unknown.
  • Roe claims that she left his car after arguing with him and started to walk home. He followed her to a location about six blocks from her home and then drove to his house.
  • When invited to the Eden Prairie police station to give a formal statement, he pulled into the parking lot and shot himself in the head.

Read more


5/23/2013 Update

Volunteers Continue Search for Missing Eden Prairie Woman Mandy Matula

Minnesota United volunteers Sara Eklund (left), Milaca, and Amy Ruegemer, St. Stephen, check maps Wednesday, May 22, 2013 as they prepare to talk to area residents in hopes of enlisting their help to find missing Eden Prairie woman Mandy Matula. (Photo: Kimm Anderson / St. Cloud Times)

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times
May 23, 2013

Volunteers were out again Wednesday in the St. Cloud area searching for missing Eden Prairie woman Mandy Matula.

Searchers met at Mississippi River County Park and distributed fliers at homes near the Rice bridge on the Mississippi River and in other areas north of Sartell. The fliers were hung on doorknobs at homes and encouraged people to search their land for any sign of Matula, who was last seen when she left her family’s home May 1 with David Marshall Roe.

Roe, 24, shot himself in the parking lot of the Eden Prairie City Center on May 2, before he could discuss Matula’s whereabouts with officers. He later died.

Cellphone data has shown that Roe was in the St. Cloud area after Matula was believed to have gone missing. Roe was a St. Cloud State University student.

Eden Prairie police have identified a swath of land on either side of the Mississippi from just south of Monticello to north of Sartell as an area they would like searched.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office has completed a search of the Mississippi River for Matula.

Police have said Matula might have been wearing a sweatshirt with a University of Minnesota-Duluth logo.


Information on St. Cloud-Area Search Saturday

(Edited from post by search coordinator Josh Truax on Finding Mandy Matula Facebook page)

We are meeting at Immaculate Conception Church (130 1st Ave NE, Rice, MN) at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 25. Search volunteers will be leaving the church at 10 a.m. We will have an RV in the parking lot with “Find Mandy” posters and plenty of parking available. Rain or shine, the search will continue.

Please wear appropriate clothing, such as jeans, boots, high socks, and the MN United t-shirt or a bright-colored shirt in general.

Safety: We are not liable for any personal injuries or accidents. We will have medical staff on hand, but we ask you to be careful (this includes dogs). Please be aware that we are walking through woods. We would prefer to not have children around, just because of the chance of losing a small child. The terrain will be challenging, and remember we are at this point looking for a body, so the circumstances are not child appropriate.

Eating: Please eat a good breakfast and stay hydrated throughout the day. We will have water available and each person will have a water bottle with them.

Photo update: Search volunteers en route from Eden Prairie to St. Cloud and Rice (Photo credit: Nora Mobarry / Facebook)

Photo update: Search volunteers prepare to head out from the command center at Immaculate Conception Church in Rice (Photo credit: Jodi ‘Brehm’ Reiter / Facebook)


Related report

Local Search for Mandy Matula Planned for This Saturday

By Jim Maurice
WJON (St. Cloud)
May 22, 2013

RICE – Another local search is being organized for a missing Eden Prairie woman. Volunteers are organizing a search for 24-year-old Mandy Matula for this Saturday.

If you are able to help, you’re asked to meet at the Immaculate Conception Church in Rice at 9:30 a.m. The group will then head to the Blanchard Dam near Royalton. You do not need to sign-up ahead of time.

Matula was last seen with her ex-boyfriend Dave Roe on May 1st. Cell phone towers later registered his cell phone between Sartell and Rice. He shot and killed himself in the Eden Prairie Police Department parking lot before he could be questioned.


5/24/2013 Update

Deputies Focus Search on Waite Park

KMSP-TV Fox 9 (Minneapolis-St. Paul)
May 23, 2013

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — As the search for Mandy Matula continues, the Hennepin County sheriff’s office confirms they have deputies looking in the St. Cloud, Minn. area.

Sources said those deputies are focusing on parks and waterways in the town of Waite Park, just west of St. Cloud. The focus on that area wasn’t born out of any specific tip or lead – just a random search. …

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call 952-949-6200 …

Read more


7/14/2013 Update

KMSP-TV video

Sunday Search Focuses on St. Cloud

By Lindsey LaBelle
Video report by Scott Wasserman
KMSP-TV Fox 9 (Minneapolis-St. Paul)
July 14, 2013

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — About 40 volunteer searchers headed to St. Cloud on Sunday to continue looking for Mandy Matula, the 24-year-old Eden Prairie woman who has been missing since May 1.

A boat search party was scheduled to launch at 10  a.m. at a park near the Mississippi River. Kayaks began to encircle the area at 8 a.m. near the Beaver Island Trail boat access by St. Cloud State University. Kayak searchers focused on areas of the shoreline and inlets while larger boats searched greater areas of the river and large islands.

Steve Matula told FOX 9 News he thinks about his sister each and every day, and that’s why they planned to travel 30 miles — from Rice, Minn., down to  Clearwater, Minn. — to try and find her.

“Every day, it’s, ‘Where is she? Where could she be?'” he explained. “I’m hoping for answers. I’ll just go outside in the middle of the night [and ask], ‘Where are you?'”

After dozens of searches, the answers are still elusive — but that isn’t stopping the volunteers who continue to turn out in the hopes that they will be able to find Mandy.

“I don’t go a day without thinking about her even though I didn’t know her,” volunteer Petra Eastling told FOX 9 News. “I met all these people and it was  like family. We clicked instantly and I just wanted to be there for them and the family. I’m now close too.”

Although no stone went unturned, the search did not yield any new finds. Steve Matula said he is in awe of all those who have donated their time and effort to search for his sister. Although Sunday’s search was the last planned until fall, Steve Matula said he will never give up hope.

Eden Prairie police and law enforcement in Stearns County continue to conduct searches by land, air and water in targeted areas surrounding Eden Prairie and northward along the Mississippi River toward Stearns County.

Anyone with information on Mandy Matula’s whereabouts is asked to call the  Eden Prairie Police Department at 952-949-6200.

Matula, 24, has been missing for a total of 75 days. Her estranged boyfriend, 24-year-old David Roe, fatally shot himself in the parking lot of the Eden Prairie City Center after agreeing to speak with police.


Finding Mandy Matula on Facebook:

A donation fund has also been set up for the Matula family at Wells Fargo. Checks can be made out to the Mandy Matula Fund at any branch, and donations can also be made online through PayPal.


Matula’s family also hopes volunteer searchers will continue to keep the family of another missing Minnesota woman in their minds as well as they search.

Minnesota United on Facebook:!/pages/Minnesota-United/108376802700423?directed_target_id=o


9/17/2013 Update

Missing Person Investigation: Search for Matula Continues

Police Ask Outdoor Enthusiasts to be Mindful of Case

Mandy Marie Matula

City of  Eden Prairie
September 16, 2013

Public Information Officers
Katie Bengtson: 612-743-0291
Joyce Lorenz: 612-220-6612

Eden Prairie, Minn. – The Eden Prairie Police Department continues to search for 24-year-old Mandy Marie Matula, who was last seen with David Marshall Roeon the evening of May 1 in Eden Prairie. Roe, the primary person of interest in the case, took his own life prior to police questioning.

Over the past four months, Eden Prairie Police have worked closely with several local, state and federal agencies to investigate the circumstances of Matula’s disappearance. Multiple searches have been conducted by land, air and water in targeted areas surrounding Eden Prairie and northward along the Mississippi River toward Stearns County.

Evidence in the case has indicated a span along the Mississippi River, from the Sartell Dam northward toward the Mississippi River County Park, as a strong area of interest. Law enforcement searches of this area have utilized K-9 resources, underwater sonar detection and remote operating vehicles with deep water cameras.

As the Mississippi River and the wooded river banks in Stearns and Benton counties remain strong areas of interest, Eden Prairie Police are reminding the public – especially the many outdoor enthusiasts headed to these areas during the fall hunting season – to be mindful of this continuing investigation.

Anyone with information that may lead to Matula’s whereabouts is asked to immediately call the Eden Prairie Police Department at 952-949-6200.

No further information about the investigation is available at this time. Future updates will be posted at


9/19/2013 Update

Missing Person Flyer Available for Download

City of Eden Prairie
September 18, 2013

Eden Prairie Police are releasing a missing person flyer featuring up-to-date information related to the search for Mandy Matula. Members of the public wishing to display or distribute this information are invited to download the flyer for printing, reproduction or electronic distribution.

Click here to download the missing person flyer [PDF]


7/21/2014 Update

Documents Closing Matula Case offer Harrowing, Poignant Details

By Kelly Smith

July 12, 2014

The desperate final actions of Mandy Matula’s suicidal killer and a description of her late-night death outside an Eden Prairie church are among the details recounted in hundreds of pages of investigative documents released this week.

The documents’ release brings to a close the investigation into the 24-year-old Eden Prairie woman’s death. Her May 2013 disappearance prompted multiple searches. In late October, her body was found at a park near St. Cloud where David Roe, her ex-boyfriend and presumptive killer, often fished.

The report also gives the only answers family and friends ever expect to get via interviews, phone records and audio of Roe’s eerily calm call with police minutes before he fatally shot himself in the Eden Prairie police parking lot.

“Just listening to that conversation, you wouldn’t think anything transpired,” Mandy’s father, Wayne Matula, said after hearing Roe’s account for the first time.

Mandy Matula disappeared May 1, 2013, last seen leaving her parents’ home with Roe, who was determined to get back together with her, her family said. She was the third metro-area woman to go missing within a five-month span.

What happened in the hours leading up to her being shot and the hours after she disappeared weren’t known until now.

According to the documents, Roe applied for a permit to purchase a gun April 24, with Carver County staff noting he was nervous. He asked to pick it up, not have it mailed, on April 29. That day, he bought a .40-caliber handgun from Mills Fleet Farm in Carver and two boxes of ammo from Cabin Fever Sporting Goods in Victoria. On April 30, he practiced at Bill’s Gun Shop in Robbinsdale.

The day of the shooting

Late on May 1, Roe and Matula had a heated phone conversation. About 10:30 p.m., Mandy’s father saw her leave without her phone or purse, and sit in Roe’s car.

Roe calmly told investigators the next day that they went to Miller Park nearby and sat in the car arguing.

“There were ups and downs … you know, there were times where we were both pretty calm and there were times where we were both upset at each other … I mean, nothing out of control, no [physical violence],” he told an officer, adding about why Mandy left him at the park: “I don’t know. I mean she just said, ‘You’re annoying and you know you just keep pushing.’ Obviously I guess I was a little too pushy.

“I just threw my hands up and I said, ‘Fine, just leave,’ ” Roe said, his voice breaking.

He said he left her at Miller Park and Eden Prairie Road, arriving at his home at 2 a.m.

“I’ve been looking all morning for her,” he said, crying. When the detective asked about his state of mind and if he could drive, Roe said: “I’m all right, thank you.”

Shots fired

Phone records and witness interviews show a much different picture of the night.

About 2:30 a.m., neighbors reported hearing a “pop,” then a female scream followed by another popping sound near Victory Lutheran Church near Mandy’s house.’

Later, an unfired .40-caliber bullet later confirmed to have cycled through Roe’s gun was found outside the church, leading investigators to determine that Roe shot Matula near his car. Investigators found a bullet on the car’s floor, and Mandy’s blood on Roe’s jacket and the car.

At 2:57 a.m., phone records show Roe disabled both his and Mandy’s Facebook accounts. At 3:17 a.m., he downloaded a police scanner app on his iPhone. At 3:33 a.m., he used a flashlight app on his iPhone and left Eden Prairie. At 3:54 a.m., he stopped at a Maple Grove BP to fill up on gas, shown on surveillance cameras as the only occupant.

At 5:50 a.m., his phone was tracked near the Mississippi River Park in Rice, where Roe lived in 2010-11 while studying at St. Cloud State University, and the park where he’d fish.

By 6:45 a.m., Matula’s parents reported Mandy missing.

By 7:53 a.m., Roe’s phone was detected back in Victoria, where he lived. At 9:54 a.m., he made a goodbye video for his younger brother, later leaving a Post-it note on his car asking police to give the video to his brother. And at 10 a.m., he downloaded a Bible app.

At 12:50 a.m., Roe told police he was scared and that as a criminal justice student, he knew he was a person of interest and feared being arrested.

Police followed him to the station, where surveillance cameras captured Roe putting the pistol to his head at 1:30 p.m. An autopsy determined he was extremely intoxicated.

His death and Mandy’s disappearance shocked his family and friends, one saying: “We always knew David was a little bit on edge sometimes, but realistically, we never thought he’d be capable of something like this.”

Searching across the metro

From that day on, police received numerous tips. But they remained convinced she was at Mississippi River County Park because mud in the wheel wells of Roe’s car matched park soil and his phone was tracked there. From May 3 until October, officers from multiple agencies, search experts and Matula’s brother, Steven, searched there. Nothing was found.

On Oct. 26, a Sartell man hiking in the woods noticed a blanket sticking out of the ground. In a shallow grave, Matula’s body had been wrapped in the blanket, her head covered with a plastic bag, secured with duct tape. She had been shot once in the back of her head.

The remains had to be identified through dental records, but authorities knew immediately it was Matula. She wore a sweatshirt embroidered with the emblem of her alma mater, the University of Minnesota Duluth. Also in the grave was an Eden Prairie High School class ring with engravings: “2007” and “Mandy.”

That discovery, and now the documents’ release, answers many questions about what happened. But for family and friends, like those of so many domestic violence victims, there is no true answer to the question of why.

Full report, video, and audio police audio at the Star Tribune

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