Body found in RV compartment is missing Anoka man

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 3, 2014 - 7:13 PM

Mystery still surrounds the November disappearance of 22-year-old Kevin Casserly.

Kevin Casserly
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Kevin Casserly

A body discovered Thursday in the cargo compartment of an RV rented for a rolling bachelor party has been identified as that of an Anoka man missing since November.

The body of Kevin Casserly, 22, was discovered Thursday night in Winona in the compartment of an RV that had been rented from a private person in Anoka by a group of men headed to the Kentucky Derby. The RV owner’s name has not been released.

Neither the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office nor the Mayo Clinic, where medical examiners performed an autopsy, would say if they’ve determined a cause of death.

The groom-to-be, Dan Trainor, of Rochester, said Saturday that no one in the bachelor party would publicly identify the owner of the RV, given the ongoing investigation.

Casserly’s family had long feared foul play in his disappearance. He was last seen on Nov. 12 in Anoka, running or walking fast with no shoes on about 7:30 a.m. near Ferry Street and Hwy. 10, according to a Facebook page, “Help Find Kevin Casserly.”

“After 24 weeks of searching, it is with heavy hearts that we share with you that Kevin’s body was recovered on Thursday,” said a Saturday morning posting by Casserly’s family, who had created the page in December. “Though not released and laid to rest yet, he will be. It is no longer a question of when and where.”

Casserly, who has a twin brother, had been in trouble in recent years, including for drug and domestic abuse convictions. He was on probation for throwing or spitting bodily fluids at police and for violating a domestic abuse protection order, both of which are felonies.

His family said that he’d been doing better and that he was steering clear of methamphetamine, to which he’d been addicted. He was happy lately about a recent promotion at his manufacturing job, they said. And he was heavily involved in the lives of his two young kids, who were being raised by their grandmother.

Mystery surrounds not only how Casserly’s body got into the RV compartment, but how and why he disappeared.

Anoka police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension posted an alert about two weeks after he went missing, saying he left all of his belongings behind. His car was found in the 2900 block of 7th Avenue in Anoka. It was out of gas and his keys were missing, his family has said.

On Nov. 11, Casserly had called his mother to tell her that he had the flu and that he was calling in sick to work. She went to check on him and found his apartment door partly open, with his cellphone and wallet inside and a $20 bill on a table. He was spotted running shoeless the next morning.

Searches by up to 120 people and a candlelight vigil followed, and a $1,500 reward was offered.

“To all the volunteers who helped us search for Kevin, thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” the Facebook posting said Saturday. “Words cannot express how much the support has meant to all of us and Kevin’s family.”

The Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it would have no additional updates over the weekend. The investigation into Casserly’s death continues, the statement said.

The body was discovered when the bachelor party group stopped along Hwy. 61 in Winona, Minn., and parked outside a closed-for-the-night Shopko store. They noticed an odor coming from one of the vehicle’s exterior compartments, opened the compartment and spotted the body.

The family’s Facebook posting said there would be a vigil at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Northstar Line’s Anoka Station at 2718 4th Av.

Joy Powell • 612-673-7750

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Kevin Casserly