MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Family and friends came together to remember Mandy Matula Sunday.
More than a thousand people filled Grace Church in Eden Prairie for a memorial service Sunday afternoon.
It was two weeks ago, the 24-year-old woman’s remains were discovered by a hiker in Stearns County. She had been missing since May.
Mandy’s ex-boyfriend, David Roe, killed himself when he was called in for questioning by police.
“I think back to the moment this all began. I knew something was wrong. She wasn’t home,” her father, Wayne Matula, said.
Wayne thanked everyone who searched for her and prayed for her and spoke of their unexpected, devastating loss.
“Never in that period in your life do you ever begin to imagine that you would be standing in front of a large crowd of people, saying goodbye to your child, our baby, the love of our life,” Wayne said.
The stories told brought tears, smiles and laughter.
Natalia Becker became best friends with Mandy in the 7th grade. She shared a story about Mandy’s days in Girl Scouts.
“To give you an idea of how talented she was, she was top seller of girl scout cookies in Minnesota in 2003, selling 2,093 boxes of cookies,” Natalia said.
Mandy was a pitcher for the UMD Bulldogs. Her former teammates paid tribute to her by retiring No. 14.
Above all, loved ones say Mandy was kind and genuine, and a dear friend.
“I could have never asked than a better sister than Mandy,” brother Steven Matula said.
“Mandy made us whole and complete, and we will be forever grateful the beautiful daughter God has given us,” Wayne Matula said.