Posted at: 10/26/2013 7:25 PM
Updated at: 10/27/2013 10:37 PM
By: Leslie Dyste
New details surrounding the death of 24-year-old former UMD softball pitcher Mandy Matula were released in a news conference Sunday evening.
According to Eden Prairie Police Chief Rob Reynolds, Mandy Matula had a single gunshot wound to the head. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner indicated the cause of death was likely the gunshot wound.
Police believe she was killed in Eden Prairie, but do not have an exact location. The news conference was held after the Ramsey County Medical Examiner confirmed human remains found Saturday in Stearns County were those of Mandy Matula.
The badly decomposed remains were discovered after 1 p.m. Saturday in a shallow grave at Mississippi River Park in Rice. That's nearly 80 miles from Mandy Matula's Eden Prairie home.
A scout leader walking in the park saw a piece of fabric on the ground and pulled on it. The remains were wrapped in a blanket along with Mandy Matula's class ring, and a UMD softball sweater with Mandy's number 14 on it.
The park has been the main focus of searches since she vanished May 1. The Matula family met with police Sunday to get information. They say they had known all along that the remains were Mandy's.
Jennifer Noe was one of many volunteers who had previously searched the area. "You still feel kind of guilty because you know if you had just looked ten more feet or stayed out there another hour, we could have found something a lot sooner," she said.
Mandy Matula was last seen with her boyfriend, David Roe, who killed himself in a police station parking lot when he was there for questioning in her disappearance. Police say Roe is the only suspect in the case. Roe's death means some questions may never be answered. For now, the Matula family says closure is enough.
Mandy Matula's brother, 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."
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