March 24, 2019 10:36 PM
Family of Ralph Latrez Bell, who has been missing from Stillwater since December 2018, confirmed the body found in Roseville on Friday is him.
Kaila Holmes, Bell's fiancee, posted on Facebook that her fiance and father of their children, was no longer missing, saying "I will forever take care of our kids and always keep your memories alive with them."
The Roseville Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension have not yet confirmed the identity of the body that was discovered by someone looking for deer antlers. The remains were noticed near some trees on the lot northeast of Dale Street and Roselawn Avenue, according to police.
In one of the Facebook posts by Holmes, she said: "we found him, but not what happened to him."
Family told authorities that Bell, 24, left his apartment in the 1600 block of Greeley Street around 10 p.m. on December 20 after having a minor argument with his fiancee. His sister Isabella Taylor Fleurisaint had been visiting the couple earlier that night.
"We were talking about the future, he seemed very normal to me," she said. "He was an altogether guy, not into gang life, he knew where he wanted to be and what he wanted to become."
The vehicle driven by Bell that night, a blue Chevrolet Impala, was found an hour later with the engine idling in the 800 block of Cope Avenue West in Roseville, about 1.3 miles north of the vacant lot the body was found in. Witnesses told police they saw the car speed to the end of the dead-end street and stop, then witnessed a man get out of the vehicle and run off.
When Bell never returned, the family called the police, handed out fliers, posted on social media and conducted various searches of their own in hopes of finding him.
"I have a lot of questions still to be answered and I want those answers. We are not going to stop until we get justice for Ralph," said his mother Corhea Taylor.
Taylor said police at the scene told her a wallet with Bell's driver license was inside, and he was wearing the same clothing as the night he vanished. Authorities said he'd been stabbed multiple times and the injuries might be self-inflicted. Bell's sister does not think that's possible.
"Who would put themselves through torture, stabbing yourself is a torture death you know," she said.
Investigators have not confirmed that Bell was stabbed. Relatives said he didn't have a history of mental issues.
Meanwhile, Holmes delivered the couple's third child hours later on Saturday morning. She named him Ralph Latrez Bell, Jr.
Tommy Wiita & Beth McDonough
Updated: March 24, 2019 10:36 PM
Created: March 23, 2019 10:15 PM
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