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UPDATE: 1 arrested in Aitkin County homicide investigation

UPDATE: Authorities say a 34-year-old Swatara, Minnesota man has been arrested for probation violation during their investigation into the death of a missing woman.

According to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Joshua Karjala was arrested on October 5 after authorities found a vehicle belonging to Michelle Mae on October 4.

Mae had been missing since October 3. Her body was then found Tuesday within five miles of where her vehicle was found.

Authorities were searching a rural private property, which belongs to Karjala, at the time her body was found.

Mae’s vehicle was taken to the BCA for processing, and her body was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner for an autopsy, where her death was ruled likely as a homicide.

Mae’s toxicology reports are pending.

Karjala has previously been convicted of felony burglary in the first degree, as well as felony criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

7:18 a.m. — Aitkin County officials are investigating the discovery of a body in rural Aitkin County.

According to a press release, investigators with the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office discovered a deceased person on Tuesday afternoon on private property near Swatara, which is about 28 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.

Investigators believe the deceased person is Michelle Mae of Outing, MN.

Mae has been reportedly been missing since October 3.

The deceased individual has been taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy and formal identification.

The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office is helping in the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s investigation into Mae’s disappearance along with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, and the Aitkin and St. Louis County search and rescue teams.

Lyanne Valdez

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