Person of interest dies, ammunition found in search for Mandy Matula

11:03 AM, May 5, 2013   |    comments
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Saturday marked three days since 24-year-old Mandy Matula was last seen.

Volunteer searchers found an unspent bullet in the area around Victory Lutheran Church Saturday morning.

So Eden Prairie Police did an extensive search of that area all day and then shut down Eden Prairie Road to search some more.

This comes on the same day that the Hennepin County Medical Examiner confirmed that Mandy's ex-boyfriend, David Roe, is dead.

The search was just blocks from the Matula family home.

Mandy's dad, Wayne Matula, who didn't want to go on camera, said neighbors did hear gunshots Wednesday night, the night Mandy was last seen.

Wayne said Mandy was still friends with ex-boyfriend David Roe.  He said the two broke up last fall.

He said Roe came to their house Wednesday night to talk to Mandy and she sat in his car with him for a while, leaving her purse, cell phone and keys in the house.

He said a short time later, when he looked out the window to check on them, they were gone.

Wayne Matula said his wife contacted Roe Thursday morning to find out where Mandy was.   He said Roe responded that he and Mandy had been at nearby Miller Park, they argued and then she got out of the car and left.

When police asked Roe to come to the police station for questioning on Thursday, he did but stayed in his car and then shot himself.

Matula said police were never able to question him.

So on Saturday, a couple hundred volunteer searchers showed up at Miller Park to help the Matula family search for Mandy.

Her brother, Steven Matula, was coordinating the effort.

He instructed volunteers that ultimately many areas need to be searched, "St. Cloud area, Maple Grove, Chanhassen, Victoria, Eden Prairie, because that's where he was during the night."

He said the cell phone signals of Roe were picked up in those locations and around Eden Prairie high school the night she went missing.

So volunteers started with searching the high school grounds.

Al Ross of Eden Prairie doesn't know the Matula's but he said, "My wife and I, we just feel so bad for this family and we just wanted to help out a little bit if we can."

While volunteers searched that area, police taped off the area around Victory Lutheran Church where the unspent bullet was found.  They searched under trees, through shrubs and then lined up, side by side, and combed every inch of the grounds looking for anything else.

At the same time, volunteers also searched around nearby Round Lake.

Casey Russell helped.  She said, "I knew Mandy, went to school with her for years and just wanted to come out make sure she can come home safe."

Then police shut down Eden Prairie road next to the church and scanned every inch.

There may be a lot of ground to cover but everyone is determined to find Mandy.

Steven Matula said, "For the family, it has been really tough. I'm trying to stay strong because I got a lot of faith in Mandy because, like I said, she's a very strong woman."

Police have not confirmed if the bullet found on Saturday is connected to Mandy's disappearance.

The Saint Cloud Times confirms that David Roe was an enrolled student at St. Cloud State University.  That's one area where the Matula's said Roe's cell phone was detected in the early morning hours of Thursday when Mandy went missing.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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