Arrest Made in Connection to Death of Burnsville Woman Found Near Minnesota River

September 11, 2018 06:26 PM

Burnsville police announced Monday that a 40-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection to the death of a Burnsville woman.  

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Uriah David Schulz was taken into custody in Apple Valley Monday morning and transported to the Dakota County Jail. Elizabeth Perrault's parents stood outside of their Hastings home and expressed relief at his arrest. 

Schulz is charged with 2nd Degree Murder in Perrault's disappearance and death. In court on Tuesday, a judge set a $1 million dollar bond due to the violent nature of the charges.

RELATED: Relatives Identify Missing Burnsville Woman as Body Found Near Minnesota River

The body of 41-year-old girlfriend, Elizabeth Perrault of Burnsville, was found near the Minnesota River underneath the Interstate 35W bridge back in April. Her remains were wrapped in a robe and blanket, encased in a 500-pound chunk of ice. The body was sticking out of the holding pond.

Friends reported her missing on Feb. 22, when she didn't return repeated phone calls for days. 

The criminal complaint, however, states Perrault actually disappeared around Nov. 1 of last year.  Her parents also had asked police to do a welfare check in December. 

According to the criminal complaint, Schulz was living with Perrault in her Burnsville apartment at the time of her disappearance. And testing showed traces of blood matching hers was found in the trunk of the car he was driving in the fall of last year. 

The release states Burnsville police questioned him on several occasions, and that he said he had known Perrault for around two-and-a-half years and had started dating in the fall of 2017. He reportedly stated he had last seen Perrault on Nov. 1 of last year when she left in a car with two women he could not identify, supposedly to go to a treatment facility for help with her drinking.  Schulz also couldn't name the rehab facility. 

"His story changed several times over the months," Sgt. Matt Smith with the Burnsville Police Department said.

"The last person who claimed to have seen the victim alive is a person of interest to police and he was treated that way at the start of this investigation and he's now become a defendant," said Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom following Tuesday's hearing.

When questioned by investigators, Schulz claimed the last time he was at Perrault's apartment was on Nov. 1, but that an examination of his cell phone showed it had connected to the free Wi-Fi there 184 times in November and December. The investigation also reportedly found Perrault's EBT Debit Card had been used 20 times since she was last seen.

Also, a SuperAmerica Rewards card matching Schulz's account was used in conjunction with nine of those transactions in Burnsville.

RELATED: Medical Examiner Confirms Body Found Near Minnesota River that of Missing Burnsville Woman

The complaint states a witness allegedly reported hearing a loud noise coming from Perrault's apartment in October of last year, saying it was so loud it shook the lamps in her apartment in the same complex. That witness said two or three days later, they recalled seeing Schultz moving things out of Perrault's apartment.

Another witness also allegedly saw Schultz throw "bags of stuff" into the garbage dumpster at the apartment complex around the same time.  

At one point, Schulz told officials that Perrault wasn't missing. They suspect that's because he knew where she was all along.  Also, Schulz requested that police not show any more pictures of Perrault when she was recovered because they were hard to look at. 

"I loved her to death, I was in love with her," Schulz said.

Credits

Beth McDonough and Frank Rajkowski

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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