(EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.) — The investigation into the disappearance of 24-year-old Mandy Matula of Eden Prairie, Minn., has yielded new evidence, further tying her ex-boyfriend, who has since died, to the case.
Police said DNA testing confirmed Matula’s blood was on a jacket found in the car of her ex-boyfriend, David Roe. Authorities said they believe Roe, 24, of Victoria, Minn., was with Matula before she was reported missing.
In addition, ballistics testing on an unfired bullet found near an Eden Prairie church Saturday came from the same gun Roe used to shoot himself in the head, according to a news release. The ammunition was found near the Victory Lutheran Church May 4 by community volunteers helping with the investigation.
Matula’s family members last saw her at 11 p.m. on May 1. They reported the 24-year-old missing around 8:30 a.m. the next day after she did not show up for work at the city’s park maintenance division, ABC Minneapolis affiliate KSTP-TV reported.
Roe was identified by police as a person of interest in Matula’s disappearance and had agreed to speak with investigators. But before he could be questioned, he shot himself in the head in the parking lot of the Eden Prairie City Center at approximately 1:30 p.m. May 2. He was then transported to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
Roe died Saturday, two days after the self-inflicted gunshot wound, the county medical examiner said, but further details about Roe’s death could not be confirmed.
Matula’s father, Wayne Matula, told ABC News he saw his daughter get into Roe’s car the night before she disappeared. The two often sat in his car in the family’s driveway to talk, he said.
“I just periodically checked through the curtains,” he said. “The car sat there for about 20, 25 minutes, and then I went to bed.”
But he said that when he looked out his window at 2 a.m., Roe’s car was not in the driveway. He checked his daughter’s room, but she wasn’t there. He noticed Matula had left her cell phone and purse on her bed.
“At 5:30 a.m., which is when I usually get up, I walked into her room, and there was still no sign of her having been there,” he said. “I asked my wife, ‘Did you talk to Mandy? She didn’t come home last night.’ She left everything here, this doesn’t smell right.”
He then called his daughter’s office to see if she had gone to work. But when he was told she hadn’t shown up that day, his wife, Lisa, called Roe on his cell phone to see if he knew where Matula was.
Roe said that he and Matula drove to a nearby park the night of May 1, and that the two had argued.
“[Roe] told my wife [Mandy] jumped out of his car, and said she was going to walk home,” Wayne Matula said. “That didn’t make any sense. It was a very cold night. For her not to come home didn’t make any sense.”
He said after his wife spoke to Roe, he went to the police to report his daughter was missing.
“He seemed like a good man,” he said of Roe. “He was cordial to us as a family. But he was very possessive of her. He didn’t want her talking with any other guys.”
While the couple dated for about eight months, Wayne Matula said the two broke up around Labor Day 2012.
“He did love her, and he did everything he could to try and win her love back,” he said. “My daughter was a very courteous person. She knew he was hurting, so she spent time with him. But he couldn’t go along with that. He tried to win her back. He wanted her.”
Although he said the community response had been “tremendous,” but the pain was still strong.
“It’s like she’s vanished,” he said. “We’re lost right now. We’re numb, because we have nothing to listen to and nothing to follow.”
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