Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Eden Prairie Police received confirmation Sunday that the human remains found Saturday in Stearns County are those of Mandy Matula.
Matula’s father said police told him the autopsy showed his 24-year-old daughter, who went missing last spring, died of a single gunshot wound to the head.
Matula’s father, Wayne, says his family has mixed emotions about the news — both angry and relieved.
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.
Steven Matula, Mandy’s 22-year-old brother, said the man walking through the park stumbled across some fabric sticking out of the ground.
“They looked into it, that’s when they found human remains, wrapped in a blanket,” he said.
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.
Steven Matula said Roe was a good guy — what he did was not the kind of guy he was.
Wayne Matula confirmed that her class ring she often wore and a sweatshirt with the University of Minnesota-Duluth logo and the no. 14 (which was Mandy’s number on the UMD softball team) were found with the remains near Sartell.
He said he is relieved and grateful that the community kept her memory alive.
Matula’s brother, Steven, said before the autopsy confirmed the news that he was feeling mostly relieved.
“We’re all at different levels of emotion right now. I’m at the happy stage because this journey has finally came to an end,” he said. “We can finally have Mandy at rest, a lot of weight has been taken off my shoulders.”
After the countless searches friends and family have done, he said this day was a long time coming.
“We’ve been waiting for this day to come,” Matula said. “I’m happy right now. Mandy is finally coming home.”
Her family is planning a funeral for Nov. 9. Police are still looking into the events leading up to her death.