The family of Mandy Matula, the 24-year-old who went missing over six months ago, can now get some closure after her body was found by a hiker on Saturday, according to Fox.
Yesterday, her family and friends gathered together and travel to the Mississippi River park where her body was found wrapped in a blanket in a shallow grave. They intended to build a memorial to her, and in doing so, gained some peace in the process.
They took the same trail that the hiker took on Saturday. "The sun was out, shining through the trees. The site where Mandy was found -- very peaceful and soothing," said Steven Matula, Mandy's brother. "If you were to walk there now, you'd see a little trail. You'll see balloons. We carved a number 14 into one of the pine trees."
The number 14 is significant as the number on her University of Minnesota-Duluth softball team jersey and on the jacket she was buried in.
Wayne Matula, the woman's father, said the journey was filled with "a lot of silence, of just looking and thinking and praying. We lost a daughter; we lost a sister. It's going to take time for healing, to totally understand the circumstances of what has transpired."
Even Eden Prairie Police Chief Rob Reynolds was visibly emotional and struggled to make the announcement at the Sunday press conference.
"Many people had connections to her," he said. "I know that my family alone had three different connections to Mandy."
The trip marked the end to the months spent searching for Mandy Matula following her May 1st disappearance after she left her house with her ex-boyfriend David Roe. Investigators believe Roe murdered her that night. He shot her in the head and later buried her body in a shallow grave at the park.
Roe took his life before he could be interviewed by investigators, and is the only suspect in the woman's death. Police plan to keep the case open and may still submit it to the county attorney.
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