Eden Prairie woman missing; 'person of interest' shoots himself

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 3, 2013 - 7:07 AM

An Eden Prairie woman remains missing, and police are asking for the public’s help.

Police, friends and family members will continue a search Friday morning for Mandy Matula, who was last seen with David Marshall Roe, who shot himself in the head Thursday outside Eden Prairie police headquarters after being summoned to talk to a detective.

Roe was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where information on his condition was not being released Thursday night.

Radio traffic from police scanners early Thursday afternoon said law enforcement vehicles followed Roe, who was alone in his SUV, to the police station parking lot about 1:30 p.m. Officers then stayed back, shutting down the parking lot from other traffic as they watched him and realized he had a handgun. A few minutes later he shot himself.

In the past week, Matula, of Eden Prairie, had told her family and friends that she was breaking off a relationship with Roe. Both are 24 and graduated in 2007 from Eden Prairie High School, where they were standout athletes.

The missing woman’s father, Wayne Matula, confirmed Thursday night that his daughter was breaking up with Roe. Wayne Matula said that police investigators were at the family’s Eden Prairie home and had asked that the family not talk with reporters about the case.

Mandy Matula and Roe were last seen about 1:30 a.m. Thursday at Miller Park in Eden Prairie, where searchers looked for her later in the day. The Hennepin County Water Patrol also initially said they were searching nearby Mitchell Lake but changed that location shortly after 8 p.m. to Round Lake in Eden Prairie, which is in another park near Valley View and Eden Prairie Roads, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Matula’s parents first reported her missing at 8:30 a.m. Thursday when she didn’t show up for her seasonal job as a city maintenance worker in Eden Prairie, according to police and a family friend. Her family last saw her about 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Matula and Roe were believed to have been traveling in his 2013 black Ford Escape with Minnesota license 802-KNA when they were at the park. Police are asking anyone with information to call Eden Prairie police at 952-949-6200.

Police said once they identified Roe as a “person of interest” in Matula’s disappearance, he had agreed to speak with an investigator.

After Roe arrived at the police station parking lot and officers realized he had a gun, they asked that rifles be brought to the scene.

Roe, who stayed seated in his SUV, put a piece of paper in his vehicle window. Katie Bengston, a police spokeswoman, said no information was being released about the paper, including whether he had written on it.

He then used both hands to hold a handgun under his chin and fired, according to scanner reports. Officers immediately called an ambulance.

Matula is the third woman to disappear under suspicious circumstances in the metro area since December. Danielle Jelinek, 28, of Oakdale, was reported missing on Dec. 9. She was last seen at the home of a man in Chisago County with whom she had a sporadic relationship. Kira Trevino, 30, was last seen on Feb. 21. Her husband, Jeffery Trevino, is charged with second-degree murder in her disappearance. Searches continue for all three women.

Both Roe and Matula had excelled in team sports when they attended Eden Prairie High School.

Matula was a standout fast-pitch softball pitcher, and she later graduated from University of Minnesota Duluth, where she pitched for the Bulldogs.

Roe was all-conference in football and played on a state championship team. He attended the University of St. Thomas for some time, where he played football. He also played basketball in high school.

Matula has worked as a seasonal maintenance worker for the city of Eden Prairie for more than six years, and she also worked at a family recreation center in Eden Prairie, Brunswick Zone XL. Martin Larson, general manager for Brunswick Zone, declined to comment Thursday.

“We’re all in shock,” one of Matula’s co-workers at Brunswick Zone XL said by phone, her voice breaking.

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