It’s been five months since the body of 20-year-old Anarae Schunk of Burnsville was found in a ditch near Lonsdale, Minn., and charges have yet to be filed against anyone in her death.
The prime suspect — her ex-boyfriend, Shavelle Chavez Nelson — pleaded guilty in December to burglarizing a home in Richfield on June 12, 2013, and will spend at least the next 5½ years in prison for that.
He is awaiting a March 21 contested omnibus hearing in Dakota County District Court in the death of Palagor Jobi outside a Burnsville tavern on Sept. 22; the hearing has been canceled or postponed three times. Charges say Nelson and Jobi, 23, quarreled in the parking lot before Nelson shot him.
Schunk was with Nelson and his new girlfriend that night. After the shooting, they all returned to Ashley Conrade’s townhouse in Rosemount. Then Schunk disappeared.
Meanwhile, the family of the University of Minnesota student waits with a list of questions.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Schunk’s eldest brother, Tyson, said this week. “We want to know what happened and we won’t be given any of the evidence or shown anything on the case until they’re ready to bring charges.
“I’ve just kind of lost a little bit of faith in the process,” he said. “I see the call coming from Dakota County and I think before I even answer the phone, there’s another delay. I suspect that a year from now we’ll still be having the same conversation. I’m trying to just be ready for that.”
Authorities haven’t said much about the investigation publicly.
County Attorney Jim Backstrom released a statement Tuesday saying, “The Anarae Schunk homicide remains under investigation at this time. … Extensive evidence has been gathered and forensic testing of some of this evidence is still underway.”
Tyson Schunk said the only good that has come from his sister’s death has been to bring the family closer together.
“We’re learning things about each other we didn’t know before and how we deal with pain and loss.
“It’s re-emphasized the importance of regular contact,” he said.
Pat Pheifer • 952-746-3284