BUFFALO, Minn. (WCCO) – Two months after Christopher Rossing disappeared after leaving a Howard Lake bar, the man charged in his case faced a courtroom packed with Rossing’s friends and family.

They came in support of Rossing’s family and gathered for a moment of prayer.

Outside the courthouse, they hung large banners on vehicles asking for the public’s help in gaining information into his disappearance and death.

“We need to see their faces,” Rossing’s sister, Deanna Villella, said.

Villella said she and others came to make sure the man charged in her brother’s disappearance knows the hurt he caused.

She and about 50 others packed the courtroom where Robert Nuttall would face a Wright County judge.

“We’re just praying for answers right now, and holding onto hope that we’re going to see the justice that our family and the community is seeking it right now,” Villella said.

Rossing disappeared Aug. 23 after leaving a Howard Lake bar with Nuttall and Nutall’s girlfriend, Gwen Butcher.

According to investigators, the two men got into a fight just outside of town while walking along Highway 12.

Butcher and Nuttall are then suspected of placing a badly beaten Rossing in the back seat and driving to their rural farm home near Hutchinson, Minn.

Rossing hasn’t been seen or heard from since the early morning hours of Aug. 23.

“The last two months have felt like two years to our family,” Villella said.

The break in the case came Oct. 11, when burned bone fragments were found in a corn field across the road from where Nuttall and Butcher live.

McLeod County Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant on the couple’s property and discovered more bone fragments and teeth in a fire pit.

Wright County investigators believe more people know about Rossing’s death and cover-up, and need to come forward before they are also implicated in the crime.

“I encourage all of those people that might be out there, that they contact the Wright County Attorney’s Office before the evidence that we follow leads to them, and then we’re knocking on their door,” county attorney, Tom Kelly, said.

Outside the courthouse on Wednesday, a family grieves and friends pray for answers to this two month long nightmare.

Nuttall is scheduled back in court for a contested omnibus hearing on Dec. 22.

If Wright County prosecutors have positive identification on the bone and teeth fragments by then, murder charges will also be filed.

Investigators are also appealing to area dentists who may have cared for Christopher Rossing. That’s because the bones were badly burned, making it difficult to extract good DNA evidence.

Bill Hudson

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