SARTELL, Minn. (WCCO) – Human remains were found in a Stearns County park on Saturday afternoon.
According to authorities, the remains were found in a shallow grave by a hiker shortly after 1 p.m. at Mississippi River Park near Sartell.
The identity and gender of the remains are unclear.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s office is working with Eden Prairie Police and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to determine if the remains are those of 24-year-old Mandy Matula, who went missing back in May.
Matula’s ex- boyfriend, 24-year-old David Roe, fatally shot himself in the parking lot of the Eden Prairie Police Department before he was to meet with authorities to discuss her disappearance.
WCCO spoke with Matula’s dad, Wayne Matula, late Saturday night. He confirms that a piece of clothing with the University of Minnesota-Duluth logo and the number 14 (which was Mandy’s number on the UMD softball team) was found with the remains in Sartell. It is unclear if it is a sweatshirt or jersey, but this is one of the reasons the family believes it is Mandy.
Wayne Matula says he is relieved and grateful that the community kept her memory alive.
On the Minnesota United Facebook page, Steven Matula, Mandy’s brother, released a statement Saturday evening.
“We have strong belief that Mandy has been found. We are still not concrete if it’s her but are praying to God it is,” Matula said.