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home : local news : local news
November 20, 2019

10/20/2019 9:52:00 AM
Missing Outing woman found dead

According to the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office, on October 4, 2019, upon location of missing person Michelle Mae's 2004 Jeep Liberty, investigation and searches began. Mae's vehicle was transported to the BCA for processing.

During the investigation of the missing person, on October 5, 2019, Joshua Emil Karjala, 34, of Swatara, was arrested for Probation Violation and is currently in custody.

Over the course of the following 10 days numerous agencies participated in daily ground searches and K-9 searches in a 5 mile radius of the location where the vehicle was recovered. Drone searches and water searches were conducted. Search warrants were issued for cell account data. In addition, search warrants were executed at a rural private property near Swatara.

On October 15, 2019, while executing another search warrant at the rural private property, the body of Michelle Mary Mae was located. Mae had been missing since October 3, 2019, Mae was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner for autopsy. The medical examiner's preliminary findings conclude that the likely cause of death is homicide. Toxicology reports are pending. The rural private property where the deceased was located was the residence of Joshua Karjala. This investigation will be forwarded to the Aitkin County Attorney.

The Aitkin County Sheriff's Office again extends its gratitude to the many agencies that assisted in locating Michelle Mae: Cass County Sheriff's Office, Department of Natural Resources, St. Louis County Search and Rescue personnel, Grand Rapids Police Department, the Aitkin County volunteer Search and Rescue, Wisconsin Department of Justice, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

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