Updated: 10/28/2013 7:08 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson
After nearly six months of searching, the family of 24-year-old Mandy Matula has some closure.
The remains of Mandy Matula were found Saturday in a central Minnesota park. She likely died from a single gunshot wound to the head, police and the medical examiner's office said Sunday.
According to Eden Prairie Police her remains were found in a shallow grave in a park along the Mississippi River north of Sartell. She had been missing since May.
The detail about the gunshot wound was released Sunday night based on findings from the Ramsey County medical examiner's office. Eden Prairie Police Chief Rob Reynolds, who spoke at a news conference, said it's believed that Mandy Matula was shot and killed in Eden Prairie.
The Eden Prairie woman was last seen leaving her home May 1 with her ex-boyfriend, David Roe.
Roe fatally shot himself in the head in an Eden Prairie police parking lot the next day after he was called in for questioning.
The park where Matula's remains were found is about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis. It had been a focal point of the search for her after police traced the signal from her cellphone to the area.
Her brother, Steven Matula, who led several searches there, said the family never gave up hope of finding her, though they didn't know when it would happen.
"I was praying to God it was going to be before winter because that would have been ugly," he said.
Steven Matula expressed no bitterness toward Roe, even though he presumes he somehow caused his sister's death, and he extended sympathy to Roe's family.
"This may have put a bad image on Dave, but Dave, he was such a really good guy. He was a sweetheart. He was a good brother, good friend, a mentor just like Mandy. ... No one would have ever expected for this to happen from him," he said.
Steven Matula told KSTP "knowing that the body was found, all that stress and wondering where Mandy... that body is, is now coming to an end. I'm happy because we can finally have her back."
Steven Matula later posted a statement on the Minnesota United Facebook page:
"So the news has finally came out on the body discovered, who was my dear sister Mandy Marie Matula. She was a very loved daughter, sister and a friend. May Mandy rest in peace, and let her shine through all of us as we go about our daily lives. I want to thank every single person who has helped volunteered, said prayers, donated and for all other little things along the way. We as a community have grown strong and closer this summer with the 4 missing girls gone missing and found. We will continue to do what's right and never give up.
R.I.P Mandy. My big sister, my best friend, my mentor, my motivator, and for everything else that words can't describe. I love you Mandy, and always will.
Your only little brother-
In a press release the Eden Prairie Police Department released the following statement:
"The Eden Prairie Police Department extends its deepest condolences to Mandy Matula’s family and friends, and thanks the many community members and volunteers who dedicated themselves to finding her and bringing her home."
The Matula family plans to have a funeral soon at Grace Church in Eden Prairie.
Click here for resources from the Domestic Abuse Project.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.