Anarae Schunk likely died on Sept. 22, the day she disappeared, Rosemount police said Thursday.
Based on the investigation, Schunk, the 20-year-old University of Minnesota student whose body was found Monday in a roadside ditch near Lonsdale, is believed to have died at the Rosemount townhouse where she went with her ex-boyfriend, Shavelle Chavez-Nelson, and his girlfriend after they left Nina’s Grill in Burnsville.
In a news release, police said charges in her death are not expected to be filed “for several weeks.”
Nelson, 31, also known as Anthony Lee Nelson, is accused of fatally shooting Palagor Obang Jobi, 23, of Savage, outside the bar shortly before 2 a.m. that morning. His girlfriend, Ashley Conrade, 24, who lives at the Rosemount townhouse, was charged with aiding an offender for allegedly harboring Nelson until his arrest Sept. 24.
Police said that while the Schunk case is related to the Burnsville police investigation into Jobi’s death, it “is being treated as a separate and independent investigation.”
Conrade told police that the three left the bar in her car after the shooting and eventually went back to her home. That’s where Schunk’s trail ended.
Her family members and friends frantically searched for her for nine days while trying to hold onto hope that she was alive and was hiding in fear of Nelson and his associates. On Monday evening, however, Rosemount police asked the family for dental records to try to identify a body found in the 7000 block of W. 60th Street in Wheatland Township in Rice County, near Lonsdale.
Authorities told her family Tuesday that the body was Schunk’s.
Rosemount police said Thursday that they are leading the investigation into her death. The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, Burnsville police and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are assisting. Police said that once the investigation is complete, the case will be forwarded to the Dakota County attorney’s office for charges.
“On behalf of all law enforcement agencies in this investigation and the County Attorney’s Office, we wish to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Anarae Schunk for their great loss,” Rosemount Police Chief Eric Werner said in the news release. “We are committed to doing everything we can to bring to justice the person responsible for this horrific crime.”
The release said Schunk’s death is the first homicide in Rosemount since 2010.
The family has planned a public memorial service for Schunk to be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Av. S., Burnsville. A fund to help with expenses has been set up as well. Donations can be taken to any U.S. Bank branch and designated to the Anarae Schunk Fund.