Body of missing Minn. woman found in Mississippi

Published 10:16 am Friday, May 10, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Police confirmed Thursday that a body recovered from the Mississippi River is that of a St. Paul woman who has been missing since February.

Kira Trevino, a 30-year-old Wisconsin native, was last seen alive Feb. 21. Her husband, Jeffery Trevino, was charged with second-degree murder after authorities found large amounts of blood in the couple’s home. He is scheduled to go on trial May 28.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in an email Thursday that he’s grateful Kira Trevino’s body was found.

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“The grief, pain and sorrow that this case has caused Kira’s family has weighed heavily on my mind,” Choi said. “As we stated when this case was charged in February, we intend to prove second-degree murder against the defendant and seek justice for Kira’s family.”

Volunteers had been organizing searches for Trevino every weekend. Police said her body was found Wednesday afternoon by someone who saw it floating in the river in downtown St. Paul.

“I’m happy that we found her and that we can bring her home,” Jay Steger, Kira’s father, told the Star Tribune.

Jeffery Trevino, 39, was charged with murder after investigators found blood on the floor, furniture, walls and stairs of the couple’s home as well as evidence of an extensive effort to cover it up.

Police said that Jeffery Trevino had called police days after his wife was last seen alive to report that he hadn’t heard from her.

A criminal complaint said that when searching the home, authorities found a carpet cleaner had what appeared to be blood and human tissue on it. Investigators also found bleach and bleach-stained towels in the kitchen, and a mop and bucket in the hall. In the bedroom, forensic examiners found blood on the floor and wall, box spring, bed frame, closet, and book shelf, the complaint said.

Investigators found a blood stain shaped like a human head and torso under the bedroom carpet. They said the amount of blood spatter is consistent with “more than one forceful blow.”

Authorities are still investigating the cause of Kira Trevino’s death.

Ramsey County Attorney spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein said Thursday that it was too early to discuss whether prosecutors would seek a grand jury indictment for first-degree murder.

Jeffery Trevino’s attorney, John Conard, did not immediately return a phone call to The Associated Press.

Family members and friends have told police that Kira Trevino had been unhappy and had talked about moving out in the months before she disappeared.

Two other Minnesota women who have disappeared in recent months remain missing.

Danielle Jelinek, 28, of Oakdale, was reported missing on Dec. 9. She was last seen at the home of a man in Chisago County with whom she had a sporadic relationship. That man has been called a “person of interest” in the case, but has not been charged in her disappearance.

Eden Prairie authorities also are still searching for Mandy Matula, who has not been seen since May 1. Police say her blood was found on a jacket in the vehicle of her boyfriend, David Roe, who shot himself in the police parking lot when he was asked to come in for questioning. Roe died the following day.