Despite the absence of a body, a 27-year-old man was charged Monday with killing and dismembering a 19-year-old Moorhead woman who has been missing for more than two weeks.

Ethan M. Broad of Moorhead was charged in Clay County District Court with second-degree unintentional murder in connection with the death of Dystynee Avery, who moved from Colorado to Moorhead.

"The investigation led to the belief that foul play was involved" in the death of Avery, said a statement Saturday night from Police Capt. Deric Swenson.

Avery was last seen April 3 in south Moorhead, where the investigation has focused on the area near Broad's apartment in the 1300 block of S. 28th Avenue, Swenson said.

Broad was arrested Friday afternoon, appeared in court Monday and remains jailed. His attorney was not immediately available to respond to the allegations.

In an interview with police soon after Avery was reported missing, Broad told authorities that he dismembered her in his garage and threw the bagged body parts into apartment dumpsters, adding that he acted in self-defense, the criminal complaint read. A motive was not addressed in the complaint.

A search of the garage turned up a saw with traces of human remains and a blue tote bin with "a large amount of blood inside," the complaint continued. Video surveillance shows Broad dragging a blue bin from his apartment building to the garage area, the court filing said.

Evidence of blood being cleaned up in Broad's apartment also was collected, the complaint said.

Avery's mother, Doreen Avery, told the Star Tribune on Monday that she believed the two had an argument. She said the suspect "was a good friend to her, [and] he acted like he actually cared about her. I talked to her every day. I even talked to her the day she went missing. ... I was never suspicious of him."

Doreen Avery said her daughter moved to Moorhead to be with a boyfriend.

In an interview over the weekend with KVLY-TV in Fargo, Doreen Avery said the suspect "will not tell anybody where she's at, which is the hardest part. And now that I know that she is gone, I want answers. I want to know where she's at."

"She was family-oriented, and she was very cheerful, always smiling, brightened up the room," Avery's mother told the Star Tribune.

Police say that anyone with information about the case should call the Red River Regional Dispatch Center at 701-451-7660 and ask to speak with a Moorhead police investigator.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482