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Missing woman found dead in Olmsted County field, death called suspicious

The victim, found under a tarp in a remote Olmsted County field, was identified as 28-year-old Tia Mercedes Arleth of Minneapolis.

OLMSTED COUNTY, Minn. — Authorities are investigating what they are calling a suspicious death in southeast Minnesota.

In a press conference Wednesday, Olmsted County officials said they received a call just before 6 p.m. last Friday on a report of a possible dead body. The caller said they were mowing tall grass when they saw what appeared to be a deceased person under a tarp in the area of County Road 2 and 70th Avenue Northeast in Haverhill Township, about 10 miles northeast of Rochester.

Deputies arrived and quickly confirmed a deceased woman underneath the tarp. Due to the location and the condition of the body, authorities believe the death to be "suspicious in nature."

The victim was later identified as 28-year-old Tia Mercedes Arleth of Minneapolis, who had been reported as missing by her family about one week before her body was discovered. 

During Wednesday's press conference Olmsted County sheriff's officials said identifying the victim was "extremely difficult" due to the condition of the body. After an autopsy wasn't able to identify the victim, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) got a partial fingerprint that helped them identify Arleth.

During Wednesday's press conference, authorities said Arleth had a "significant history and ties" to the Rochester area.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about Arleth's death to contact the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office at 507-328-6800.

"Our condolences go out the family and friends of Ms. Arleth," a press release from the Olmest County Sheriff's Office reads. "Their loss should be on the forefront of your and our minds as we work to find answers to their loss."

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