UMD Community Reacts To Search For Former Student

Posted at: 05/03/2013 5:37 PM
Updated at: 05/03/2013 11:18 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

A former UMD softball player is still missing down in the Twin Cities, but the search is weighing on students and staff in Duluth.

Mandy Matula graduated from UMD in 2011 where she pitched for the women's softball team. Assistant Athletic Director Karen Stromme can't help but smile when she talks about her.

"I think the most striking thing about Mandy is her personality," Stromme said. "She walks in a room and it lights up."

When the news made its way the UMD's campus, it was tough on the athletics community.

"We were all so stunned," Stromme said.

Family members reported 24-year-old Matula missing Thursday morning in Eden Prairie. Police said they think she may have been with her ex-boyfriend David Roe. They called him in for questioning, but before they could talk to him, officers said he shot himself in the head in the police department parking lot.

Police said Roe wrote a note first.

"There was limited writing on the note," Eden Prairie Police Lieutenant Bill Wyffels said. "I don't know who it was to, but it was followed up on by investigators and that is a part of our ongoing investigation."

At last check Friday night, Roe is still alive.

The incident has left many students at UMD in disbelief, including two freshmen both originally from near Eden Prairie.

"I've never really known anyone that's disappeared or anything," student Daryn Watson said. "It's kind of scary because it's close to home."

"It's shocking that she's older and she still hasn't been found," student Rachel Kindt said. "It's really unfortunate for her family and everything."

Regardless of the circumstances, people who know her are staying positive.

"Our kids love her and we love her," Stromme said. "We'll just keep believing in Mandy."

The UMD Women's Softball Team was playing a tournament down in Rochester Friday. Stromme said many girls on the team know Matula, but are playing because that's what Matula would want.

Anyone with information about where Matula might be is asked to call the Eden Prairie Police Department at (952) 949-6200.