Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

By incent Schilling
Indian Country Today 

Shocking News in Rose Downwind Case: Burned Body Found; Two Men Arrested


Bemidji Police Photos / Courtesy Downwind Family Two men have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection to the disappearance of Rose Downwind, the granddaughter of AIM co-founder Dennis Banks.

Two men have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection to the disappearance of Rose Downwind, the granddaughter of AIM co-founder Dennis Banks. The two men are Downwind's ex-boyfriend, Marchello Anthony Cimmarusti, 40, and Brandon Joseph Rossbach, 31 a friend of Cimmarusti's. Word of the arrests came as news broke that a body had been found in a shallow grave in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Rose Downwind, 31, a mother of five, was last seen Oct. 21.

According to the Beltrami, MN county jail website, Cimmarusti was already being held on a domestic assault charge and was charged with second-degree murder in this case on December 7th. Rossbach was arrested and charged on December 9th. Police also say that a third man, Christopher Davis, who is a cousin of Cimmarusti's, is a person of interest, and that the investigation into this crime is ongoing.

Family friend Sam Cornette, who says he spent hundreds of hours of investigating Downwind's disappearance and persuaded Dog the Bounty Hunter to offer his assistance, told ICTMN this is "a bad situation all around."

"I talked to an investigator on the case and he told me Marchello confessed. Brandon hasn't said a word. Supposedly he at first said she fell down the stairs. But it was just a domestic violence situation that went too far. He said they were fighting over a cell phone. The investigator working on the case told me Marchello admitted he killed her," said Cornette. This allegation has not been confirmed by police.

Cornette also revealed additional disturbing details, including the fact that the body was found less than one mile from the Bemidji police station. "They tried to burn the body but it didn't work. [Police] found the body with half of the flesh burned." This information, too, has not been confirmed by police.

Cornette says the search for Downwind has been exhausting and he and family members have traveled to North Dakota and Denver following leads. "We found out Marchello's friends were calling us and telling us different leads to throw us off," he said.

As of press time, the Bemidji Police Department had not responded to ICTMN's request for comment, but it did release the following statement on Facebook this morning:

Over the last 50 days the Bemidji Police Department and Minnesota BCA have invested hundreds of hours into the disappearance of Rose Downwind. With the assistance of the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, Lakes Area Dive Team, Leech Lake Tribal Police, Red Lake Tribal Police, Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, Minnesota State Patrol, U.S. Border Patrol, FBI and other law enforcement agencies across Minnesota and adjacent states many leads and tips from the public were investigated.

Rose Downwind, granddaughter of Dennis Banks, was a mother of five children.

As a result of this collaborative effort a body has been located and exhumed from a shallow grave northwest of the City of Bemidji. The BCA Crime Scene Team was called to assist with the processing of the scene and recovery of the body. The body will be sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy and to confirm the identity.

Marchello Anthony Cimmarusti, age 40 and Brandon Joseph Rossbach, age 31 have been arrested for their roles in this case. Christopher Davis remains a person of interest in this case. Although arrests have been made the investigative efforts will continue.



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