EDEN PRAIRIE, MN (WSAU) - This past Saturday, the family and friends of Kira Steger said their goodbyes as she was laid to rest in Wausau. Kira Steger was one of three women that was missing in the Twin Cities area at the same time.
No one knew that while Steger’s feneral services were underway, a hiker found the remains of the last missing woman, 24-year-old Mandy Matula. That discovery happened just after 1:00 p.m. at Mississippi River Park near Sartell, Minnesota.
Eden Prairie Police confirmed Sunday that Matula died of a single gunshot wound to the head.
27-year-old Danielle Jelinek’s body was found last May in a swamp near Chisago Lakes, Minnesota.
The three families were brought together by three similar, but separate tragedies. Volunteers and members of all three families actively searched for all of the young women starting last February. Marcie Steger was amazed by how so many people stepped forward to help them. “Ah, it just amazed me. just amazed me that the people that did that for her, and I hope that continues, you know, unfortunately if something, like with Mandy (Matula), and I just never want anyone to have to go through what our family went through.” Minutes after Steger was interviewed, Matula was located.
The three mothers have stayed in touch with each other. Steger says they truly understand the pain that each of them and their families have endured.
During the searches, Marcie Steger admitted she was not emotionally strong enough to take part in the searches. “I get asked that all the time as well, but as mothers, or people that were so close to her, you want them found more than anything but you can’t be the one to find them.”
Now, all three families can begin to seek closure. Matula’s boyfriend killed himself in the police station parking lot when officers wanted to talk to him about her disappearance. Jelinek’s death investigation is still ongoing, and the prime suspect is not cooperating and in jail for unrelated charges. Jeffrey Trevino was convicted October 2nd for the unintentional death of Kira Steger. Marcie Steger awaits next month’s sentencing date for Trevino. “Well I’m glad it was at least a guilty verdict, but I believe it should have been intentional. Many others do, as well.”