Reporting John Lauritsen
Medical examiners confirm it was Danielle Jelinek who they found Friday in a swampy area near her ex-boyfriend’s home in Chisago Lake Township.
She disappeared in December after spending time with Aaron Schnagl. Schnagl remains in jail on drug-related charges.
This development came two days after Kira Trevino’s body was pulled from the Mississippi River in St. Paul. She had disappeared in February.
Her husband, Jeffery Trevino, is charged with her murder.
As for Matula, she disappeared last Wednesday and was last seen with her ex-boyfriend David Roe.
Police in Eden Prairie had called Roe in for questioning in the disappearance, but he shot and killed himself outside the police station.
All day Saturday, volunteers have searched specific areas around Carver County.
“All these people you’ve never met before want to help out and find our missing Mandy,” Josh Truax said, one of the search leaders and a friend.
Hundreds pitched in — from people who never knew Matula, to those who knew her well.
“It was very shocking,” college friend Erin Raser said.
More than 200 volunteers searched four different areas around Victoria, Minn. Raser and Isaac Hunstad searched an area near the home of Mandy’s ex-boyfriend.
“When you see that person you know on the news, it’s just different,” Hunstad said.
The Victoria search was just one of many taking place on Saturday, and all were organized through the Facebook page Minnesota United. The goal has been to find Matula, Jelinek, and Kira Trevino.
Kira Trevino’s family had planned on searching for her this weekend. Even though her body was found on Wednesday, her family continues to search.
“It was nice to learn two of the angels had been found,” Cassie Guyton said, Trevino’s cousin. “We are just looking for a third now.”
Guyton and her mother Tammy flew in from Houston, Texas, and helped search for Matula around Lake Waconia. It’s an area where police say they had a cell phone hit just before she was reported missing.
“Now, it’s Mandy’s turn for closure,” Tammy said.
Also joining the search was Kira Trevino’s father, Jay Steger.
“It’s hard for the family,” Steger said. “It’s very hard.”
Still struggling to cope with the loss of his daughter, Steger said his family remains in search mode — hoping for closure for one more family.
“Now we just want to find Mandy, bring her home, and make it three this week,” he said.
Eden Prairie police were also conducting their own search for Matula along the Mississippi River in Stearns County.