Updated: 10/27/2013 3:21 PM
Created: 10/26/2013 6:45 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart
The family of a 24-year-old Eden Prairie woman, who has been missing since May, says remains found in Stearns County could be Mandy Matula.
Mandy's father, Wayne Matula, tells KSTP police believe they found the remains of Mandy, "it's a blessing because we now have something concrete to work with. It's preliminary but the remains could be Mandy's."
The badly decomposed remains were discovered at 2 p.m. Saturday by a hiker in a shallow grave at Mississippi River Park in Rice, the Matula family was notified at 4 p.m. The park has been the main focus of searches since she vanished May 1.
The Eden Prairie Police Department and Stearns County Sheriff's Office are also assisting the BCA in the investigation. They are working on positively identifying the remains. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy. The results are expected Tuesday or Wednesday.
Wayne Matula says investigators told him they found part of a sweatshirt with a University of Minnesota-Duluth logo with the number 14 near the remains. Steve Matula also tells KSTP Mandy's class ring was found near the remains. Those are key pieces of evidence linking the remains to Mandy, because she played fast pitch softball at UMD and was number 14.
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.
No further details were available.