Documents closing Matula case offer harrowing, poignant details

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2014 - 6:01 AM

Killer’s final actions, shooting in church parking lot among events recounted in report.

The desperate final actions of Mandy Matula’s suicidal killer and a description of her late-night death outside an Eden Prairie church are among the details recounted in hundreds of pages of investigative documents released this week.

The documents’ release brings to a close the investigation into the 24-year-old Eden Prairie woman’s death. Her May 2013 disappearance prompted multiple searches. In late October, her body was found at a park near St. Cloud where David Roe, her ex-boyfriend and presumptive killer, often fished.

The report also gives the only answers family and friends ever expect to get via interviews, phone records and audio of Roe’s eerily calm call with police minutes before he fatally shot himself in the Eden Prairie police parking lot.

“Just listening to that conversation, you wouldn’t think anything transpired,” Mandy’s father, Wayne Matula, said after hearing Roe’s account for the first time.

Mandy Matula disappeared May 1, 2013, last seen leaving her parents’ home with Roe, who was determined to get back together with her, her family said. She was the third metro-area woman to go missing within a five-month span.

What happened in the hours leading up to her being shot and the hours after she disappeared weren’t known until now.

According to the documents, Roe applied for a permit to purchase a gun April 24, with Carver County staff noting he was nervous. He asked to pick it up, not have it mailed, on April 29. That day, he bought a .40-caliber handgun from Mills Fleet Farm in Carver and two boxes of ammo from Cabin Fever Sporting Goods in Victoria. On April 30, he practiced at Bill’s Gun Shop in Robbinsdale.

The day of the shooting

Late on May 1, Roe and Matula had a heated phone conversation. About 10:30 p.m., Mandy’s father saw her leave without her phone or purse, and sit in Roe’s car.

Roe calmly told investigators the next day that they went to Miller Park nearby and sat in the car arguing.

“There were ups and downs … you know, there were times where we were both pretty calm and there were times where we were both upset at each other … I mean, nothing out of control, no [physical violence],” he told an officer, adding about why Mandy left him at the park: “I don’t know. I mean she just said, ‘You’re annoying and you know you just keep pushing.’ Obviously I guess I was a little too pushy.

“I just threw my hands up and I said, ‘Fine, just leave,’ ” Roe said, his voice breaking.

He said he left her at Miller Park and Eden Prairie Road, arriving at his home at 2 a.m.

“I’ve been looking all morning for her,” he said, crying. When the detective asked about his state of mind and if he could drive, Roe said: “I’m all right, thank you.”

Shots fired

Phone records and witness interviews show a much different picture of the night.

About 2:30 a.m., neighbors reported hearing a “pop,” then a female scream followed by another popping sound near Victory Lutheran Church near Mandy’s house.

Later, an unfired .40-caliber bullet later confirmed to have cycled through Roe’s gun was found outside the church, leading investigators to determine that Roe shot Matula near his car. Investigators found a bullet on the car’s floor, and Mandy’s blood on Roe’s jacket and the car.

  • related content

  • Audio: Police audio of David Roe interview before killing himself

    Friday July 11, 2014

    Police audio of Mandy Matula's former boyfriend David Roe being interviewed by Eden Prairie Police...

  • Audio: Audio from police car following David Roe when he killed himself

    Friday July 11, 2014

    Police audio from car following David Roe, the man who killed Mandy Matula, to police...

  • April 29, 2014: Family, friends honor Matula a year after her disappearance

    Tuesday April 29, 2014

    Though loved ones finally received closure, her absence is still greatly felt.

  • Oct. 27, 2013: Mandy Matula's family says body found near Sartell is hers

    Sunday October 27, 2013

    The remains were found in a shallow grave by a hiker north of Sartell, Minn. With them was a sweatshirt with the University of Minnesota Duluth logo and No....

  • Mandy Marie Matula

  • Police files regarding the killing of Mandy Matula include this map showing Matula's house where her picture is, and neighbors' reports about hearing a loud noise and screaming.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters






question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question