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Joshua Emil Karjala

Swatara Man Charged with Murder of Outing Woman

Web posted November 12, 2019
The Aitkin County Sheriff’s office announced Thursday, November 7, 2019 that Joshua Emil Karjala was arraigned on one count of Felony Murder in the 2nd Degree in the strangulation death of Michelle Mary Mae, age 35 of Outing, MN.

The arraignment happened in District Court of the 9th Judicial District, Aitkin County, MN. Judge David F. Hermerding set unconditional bail in the amount of $5,000,000 or conditional release in the amount of $2,000,000 bond and $500,000 cash bail.

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, 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 a search warrant at the residence of Karjala, Mae’s body was located. Mae had been missing since October 3, 2019. Mae was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner for autopsy. On October 16, 2019, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined Mae’s manner of death to be homicide.

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, Minnesota State Patrol, 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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