EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Human remains found north of Sartell on Saturday afternoon could be that of a missing Eden Prairie woman, according to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.
Eden Prairie Police are working closely with Stearns County officials
and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to determine if the
finding is related to the Mandy Matula missing person investigation,
The remains were discovered in a shallow grave by a hiker after 1 p.m. in Mississippi River Park.
Lights have been brought in to the park to allow crews the opportunity
to work through the night.
"This is the first breakthrough since the day she went missing, all the searches, all the things on TV, the flyers, the notices, we've had no chain of evidence to follow, and that has been excruciating to have no place to go look and search," said Mandy's father, Wayne Matula. "Nobody knew where to go. It was all hoping, and this is the first concrete evidence that this is possibly Mandy."
The identity and gender of the individual has not yet been confirmed, authorities said.
Wayne Matula told KARE 11 that a University of Minnesota-Duluth sweatshirt was found nearby the remains.
"(There's a) little bit of happiness and little bit of sadness, lot more sadness than happiness," Wayne Matula said. "You're always looking for a better answer than finding a grave."
An autopsy will be performed, but that could
take a few days, family said.
"It's hard to give exact words," Wayne Matula said. "We're happy that we're finding some closure, but (we were) hoping for a better result."
Mandy's brother, Steven, commented on a post on the KARE 11 Facebook page.
"We will let everyone know when the body is confirmed Mandy. At this time we are awaiting answers from police."
Matula disappeared May 1 from Eden Prairie. Her ex-boyfriend David Roe, the primary focus of police, took his own life before he could be questioned.
Investigators say 24-year-old David Roe was in a relationship with Matula, but say that relationship ended not long before Matula was last seen.
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