MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The family of Mandy Matula is spending Monday balancing a sense of closure with unspeakable grief.
After months of wondering what happened to her, they’re spending the day visiting the site where her body was found. Matula went missing in May, and last seen with her ex-boyfriend, David Roe.
Shortly after she went missing, Roe showed up to the Eden Prairie Police Department to be questioned in her disappearance. But before they could talk to him, Roe shot himself in a car in the police department’s parking lot. He died two days later.
Over the weekend, a hiker discovered her body buried in a shallow grave while walking through Mississippi River Park in Stearns County near Sartell. Investigators said they believe Roe shot and killed her in Eden Prairie, then buried her there.
Now, tucked away inside a wooded area, just 300 feet from the main road inside Mississippi River Park North of Sartell, sits a memorial for a young woman.
“When we first got back, there was a rose in the direction Mandy was laying and all you can think about is just memories we have with Mandy, the good times we’ve had just a moment of pause looking back,” said brother Steve Matula.
All placed something there that reminded them of Mandy. Her roommate, Zach Knight, found two sticks and made a cross.
“It’s kind of cool to watch every little bit of piece everybody added to make it,” said Knight.
All say the wooded scenery was a perfect resting place for the young lady who loved the outdoors.
“Relief a lot of stress is gone were just glad that we can cherish this moment more and bring her back home,” Steve Matula said.
Police said after so much heartbreak and so many questions, they feel Mandy was a part of their family too. While finding her body provides closure, it comes with heartbreak.
“There isn’t a day gone by that we haven’t been racking our heads thinking of ways to do this,” said Eden Prairie Police Chief Rob Reynolds. In working closely with the family, this is something that, like I said, everyone has taken personally.”
Now the family said they can begin to have some closure and plan a funeral. That is currently scheduled for Nov. 9. Even though her body has been found, the case is not over.
Police are still exploring what exactly happened leading up to her death. They know she was last seen getting into Roe’s car the night she disappeared, but the family still needs answers about how she ended up where her body was found.