Ex-boyfriend arrested: Linked to case of missing mother of 5
Bemidji, MN (WDAZ-TV) - A big break in the case of a woman missing in northwestern Minnesota.
Police believe Rose Downwind met with foul play.
Now her ex-boyfriend is behind bars.
For nearly 2 months the big mystery in Bemidji is what happened to 31 year old Rose Downwind. Her family, along with the community has been relentless looking for answers
"Everyday I wakeup and I wonder if Rose will be home today. Her babies miss her. I know they do, they have been asking about her," said Rose Downwind's sister Kristy White during a search on November 12.
The mother of 5 has been missing since October 19th when she was seen at Target in the city. Initially police thought Downwind took off on her own, but a few weeks' later investigators changed the tune of their investigation beginning to think she may have become a victim of violence.
Detectives think key clues may be hidden in Lake Bemidji State Park and the Buena Vista State Forest prompting numerous searches by thousands of volunteers.
"I couldn't believe the turnout, it's been one of the nicest searches I ever saw," commented Lissa Yellowbird-Chase during that search.
Police have said Downwind's ex-boyfriend, 40 year old Marchello Cimmarusti and his friend 27 year old Christopher Davis are persons of interest in the case.
Now Cimmarusti has been arrested on unrelated charges.
He was picked up on domestic abuse charges stemming from an incident at his home back on October 6th. The victim was Rose Downwind. A judge ordered him to not contact Downwind, but police say he contacted her on October 19th the same day she disappeared.
Cimmarusti was supposed to be in court on the charges on November 9th, but never showed and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Police originally say they knew where he was, but it's unclear why it took a month to arrest him.
Now that the investigation has reached a critical point with Cimmarusti in custody on the unrelated charges, both police and prosecutors declined comment so not to jeopardize the case.
"If law enforcement has detained someone for a charge, it's permissible for them to question them on other unrelated charges," said retired prosecutor Peter Welte.
He says it's not unusual for police to arrest someone on charges unrelated to a case that they are the focus of.
"Anytime law enforcement can engage someone in a dialogue and they are unable to address some of the unanswered questions that they have, it's beneficial to law enforcement," explained Welte.
It's unknown has cooperative Cimmarusti is being with detectives. But what is clear, the family of Rose Downwind, along with the community, is hoping they may soon have answers about what happened to the mother of five.
"He just needs to come forward and tell us the truth so we can put closure to this," said White the day of the search.
The other person of interest in the case, Christopher Davis, is not in custody.