Investigators are searching Mandy Matula, a 24-year-old Eden Prairie, Minn. woman who has been missing since early Thursday. Her estranged boyfriend, 24-year-old David Marshall Roe, of Victoria, Minn., was about to be questioned when police say he shot himself in the city center parking lot.
UPDATE: Suspect has died, unfired ammunition prompts investigation
The Hennepin County medical examiner confirmed that Roe, the person of interest in Matula's disappearance, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Eden Prairie Police also confirmed searchers discovered an unfired piece of ammunition near County Road 4 and Scenic Heights Road Saturday morning. After closing off nearly a half-mile area to search, police have now completed their investigation and the area is now open to the public.
Police spokeswoman Katie Bengtson did not say whether the caliber of the bullet matched the handgun that Roe used to shoot himself.
Over the weekend, a group of dedicated volunteers also participated in the search for Matula, scanning numerous parks from Eden Prairie to north of St. Cloud.
"We got people in the water, people that don't even know her, searching everywhere," said family friend Leah Foster. "It's one of the most phenomenal things I've ever seen -- it's just so heartbreaking to see it."
Police detectives scoured parts of Stearns and Carver counties on Sunday, and family members say cell phone records show Roe was in the Stearns County area after he was last seen with Matula.
"I think we're all just kind of numb until we figure it out," Foster said.
Family members are using Facebook to coordinate the search effort, with volunteers "checking in," sending in maps and photos of anything they find in the hopes that some clue will lead to Matula.
"We're asking people up here and in Eden Prairie and Victoria -- all are out looking through dumpsters, looking through trash cans for evidence or anything that sticks out," said John Mitchell.
Volunteers found several tissues with blood not far from where Matula was last seen with Roe, but police had determined those were unrelated by the afternoon. Several items of interest were also found in Carver County.
Investigators are seeking the help of the public regarding the whereabouts of Matula, who was last seen Wednesday evening. Anyone with information should call the Eden Prairie Police Department at (952) 949-6200.
Concerned residents can also help by searching their own property and neighborhood - especially wooded areas.
Eden Prairie police said late Saturday that areas around the Mississippi River in Stearns County were searched by the Stearns County Sheriff's Department.
TIMELINE OF WHAT HAPPENED
Wednesday, May 1, 11:30 p.m.
Mandy Matula and David Roe were last seen leaving Matula's parents' home in Eden Prairie.
Thursday, May 2, 1:30 a.m.
Roe's black Ford Escape SUV was spotted in Miller Park.
Thursday, May 2, 8:30 a.m.
Matula's parents reported her missing when she didn't show up for work at the Eden Prairie Public Works Department. During the course of the missing person investigation, police identified Roe as a person of interest and he agreed to speak with an investigator.
Thursday, May 2, 1:30 p.m.
Roe had come to the police station to cooperate with investigators but instead pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the parking lot before they could question him. He was transported to HCMC, but his condition was not released.
"They do know she was believed to be with him last night and in our attempt to talk to him, obviously, he had agreed to come in and talk to us but ultimately we didn't get that opportunity," Eden Prairie Lt. Bill Wyffels said.
Roe left some kind of note on the car's dashboard, but police said there was "limited writing" and wouldn't elaborate.
CLUES IN SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS?
Eden Prairie police had very few additional details at a Friday morning news conference. They said officers did not follow Roe into the city center parking lot and said officers have not searched the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Police are asking business owners to review surveillance video with the hope of tracing the path of Roe's Ford Escape.
Friday afternoon, police said they are conducting limited searches in specific areas for Mandy Matula, but wouldn't specify where.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Police are asking anyone who may have seen Matula to call them at 952-949-6200.
Officers are also looking for information from anyone who saw the vehicle Matula was seen in with Roe, described as a black 2013 Ford Escape with Minnesota license number 802-KNA. Investigators are trying to piece together where the pair may have been the night before.
Friends told FOX 9 News Matula and Roe had been in a long-term relationship that recently ended.
Matula and Roe were both Eden Prairie high school graduates. He attended St. Thomas for a while and she was a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
KDFW FOX 4
Main Station Directory:
Didn't find what you were looking for?