Man charged with killing girlfriend whose body was found in Minnesota River
APPLE VALLEY, Minn.—The boyfriend of Elizabeth Victoria Perrault, whose decomposed body was found in the Minnesota River in April was arrested Monday and charged with second-degree murder.
Uriah David Schulz, 40, of Apple Valley, remained jailed at Dakota County jail on Monday night on suspicion of killing 41-year-old Perrault of Burnsville on or about Nov. 1, 2017.
According to Perrault's Facebook page, she had two sons and a daughter.
"Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Elizabeth," Burnsville Police Chief Eric Gieseke said in a Monday statement. "Every loss of life is a terrible tragedy, and we are hopeful that this arrest may help them in the difficult healing process."
According to the criminal complaint against Schulz filed in Dakota County District Court:
Perrault disappeared around Nov. 1, 2017. At the time, Schulz was living with her in her Burnsville apartment.
On Dec. 13, 2017, Perrault's parents contacted Burnsville police and asked to check on her because they had not heard from her for quite some time. Perrault was not there when officers went to her apartment and they noticed that none of her personal belongings were around and only a few pieces of furniture remained in the apartment.
Two of Perrault's friends filed a missing person's report with Burnsville police on Feb. 22, 2018.
On April 22, 2018, a fisherman called 911 and reported that he found what he believed to be a dead body while fishing near the Interstate 35W bridge in Burnsville. Perrault's badly decomposed body was found under the bridge in a small holding pond south of the Minnesota River. It was in a bathrobe and wrapped in a blanket, which was bound with two cords around the legs.
Using dental records, the Hennepin County medical examiner's office identified the body as Perrault and determined she died by a homicide of unspecified means. Blunt force trauma was found on the right side of Perrault's face, with bone fractures around her eye and cheek. Due to the state of decomposition of Perrault's body, no blood was present.
A Burnsville police investigation revealed the blanket Perrault's body was wrapped in came from her Burnsville apartment.
Several puncture holes, six of which tested positive for the presence of blood, were found in an examination of the robe, which was covering Perrault's body when she was found.
A search of Perrault's former apartment found a dark stain on and under the carpet in the master bedroom, which tested positive for blood. Also found through the use of blue luminescence was the shape of a human body on the floor of the bedroom, along with what appeared to be a footprint.
When the carpet and carpet pad was removed, a large stain was found on the subflooring. Swabs were taken of this stain for DNA analysis.
Police also conducted a search of the car Schulz was driving around the time of Perrault's disappearance. When sprayed with chemicals used to detect the presence of blood, luminesce revealed a stain in the carpet liner of the trunk, which tested positive for blood. DNA swabs were also collected from this area for analysis.
Because no blood was available from Perrault's body, DNA samples were collected from her biological mother and father, which were submitted to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for DNA analysis. The analysis found there is "strong evidence to support that the major female DNA profile obtained from the various bloodstain" came from a biological child of Perrault's parents. Perrault's biological parents had no children other than Perrault.
Burnsville police questioned Schulz several times. He said he had known Perrault for about two and half years and that they had started dating in the fall of 2017.
Schulz said he last saw Perrault on Nov. 1, 2017, when she left in a car with two women he could not identify who supposedly were taking Perrault to a treatment facility. Schulz denied doing anything to Perrault and said that she was alive the last time he saw her.
Schulz told police that the last time he was in Perrault's apartment was on Nov. 1, 2017. But when police examined his cell phone through search warrants, they discovered it had connected to free Wi-Fi at Perrault's apartment 184 times in November and December 2017.
After Perrault was last seen, her electronic benefits card was continually used through November. Nine transactions happened at a Super America in Burnsville in conjunction with a store rewards card in Schulz' name.
When Schulz was questioned as to why Perrault's blood was found in the trunk of the car he was driving in the fall of 2017, he said the only way that could have happened is when she was bleeding when he picked her up from a hospital visit and they put some of her stuff in the trunk.