Nearly six hours after they found a young woman's body dumped on a grassy median in an industrial park about 2:30 p.m. Friday, investigators in Mankato, Minn., got their first break.
They'd put out a call for public help in identifying the woman, who was wearing a tank top and shorts and who had been stabbed many times. Among the identifiers they released: One of her bracelets read on the back "Peace is a chain reaction of love."
At about 8 p.m., a Mankato woman called police, worried because her roommate, Josselyn Bishop, a 19-year-old Minnesota State University-Mankato student, had left for work at a McDonald's but never arrived.
After interviewing the roommate and others, police identified the body as that of Bishop, and identified a suspect: a 19-year-old Golden Valley man. They believed he was driving a blue Ford Focus seen in the area of the intersection of North Victory and Sohler drives about the time the body was discovered, police spokeswoman Shelly Schulz said Saturday. The body lay on the median for less than two hours before being found, she said.
Mankato detectives contacted Golden Valley police, who arrested the suspect at his home early Saturday. He was taken to the Blue Earth County jail, where he is being held pending second-degree murder charges.
Co-workers grieved Saturday at the spot where Bishop's body was found. They said she was from Henderson, Minn., where she graduated from high school last year. Her parents told police that they wished to grieve privately.
Mankato Detective Matt DuRose said police are examining possible connections between the victim and the suspect.
Schluz said the body was found in an industrial park with a lot of truck traffic. Police will check business surveillance cameras.
A roommate of Bishop's, Toni Douglas, memorialized her friend in a Facebook post:
"'The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hands of God.' - Eileen Elias Freeman. Josselyn Bishop, you are such a beautiful person and I am so happy we were all roommates. This doesn't feel real and I miss you so much. I hope to see you in my dreams."
Staff photographer David Joles contributed to this report. Jim Adams • 952-707-9996