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UPDATED: Officials believe foul play involved in Rose Downwind disappearance case

BEMIDJI -- Police said Thursday they believe foul play is suspected in the disappearance of a Redby woman and have identified two "persons of interest" in the case.

Rose Downwind
Rose Downwind

BEMIDJI -- Police said Thursday they believe foul play is suspected in the disappearance of a Redby woman and have identified two "persons of interest" in the case.

Rose Downwind, 31, was last seen in the Bemidji area between Oct. 19-21.

Marchello Anthony Cimmarusti, 40 and Christopher John Davis, 27, have been identified as persons of interest in the case along with a pewter-colored 2002 GMC Yukon with the Minnesota license plate "325-MGP," officials said Thursday.

Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin said the investigation has been focused on an area north of Bemidji to include Lake Bemidji State Park and the Buena Vista State Forest. Police are asking anyone who saw Cimmarusti, Davis or the vehicle in those areas between Oct. 19-29 to call the police at (218) 333-9111.

"A point of clarification is that they are persons of interest,” Mastin said of Cimmarusti and Davis. “If you've seen the individuals in that area defined between those times, that's what we want to know about them. We've talked with both of them. What we need is the public's help in providing information during that time period. We are not actively looking for them. The vehicle is the same. We're asking if anyone had seen it during that time."

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Dwa Weston, Downwind's cousin and family spokesperson, said Cimmarusti is Downwind’s ex-boyfriend and the two have children together. Weston added that Downwind also knows Davis.

Mastin said the area north of Bemidji became a focal point for investigators: “It's been two weeks and we've gained a lot of information and a lot of statements, which have helped us put together a better picture... As the investigation has grown and information has been collected, that has become an area we need to focus on."

"This is a very vast area that they're talking about," Weston said. "It's very wooded, a lot of wetlands and there's a lot of ground to cover.”

Home and property owners, as well as hunters in the area, are being asked to check structures and their property for signs of suspicious activity, including trespassing, recent fires or disturbed ground. Also, hunters are asked to check their trail cameras for any suspicious activity. The Minnesota firearms deer hunting opener is Saturday.

Weston said she expects a public search could take place in the near future, too.

A statement from Dennis Banks, Downwind's grandfather and co-founder of the American Indian Movement, was released Thursday thanking local agencies for their aid in the search.

"I am grateful to the Bemidji Law Enforcement agency, the FBI, the state Bureau and the Red Lake Tribal Police for all the tireless work they are doing in an attempt to find my granddaughter," Banks said.

Banks previously discussed the situation with reality television bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman. Chapman has since donated $10,000 as a reward for information leading to Downwind's safe return.

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Downwind was last seen Oct. 21 leaving a residence along Stoner Avenue in Bemidji, wearing a blue sweater and black pants. Downwind is described as an American Indian woman, 5 feet 4 inches tall and 115 pounds with long, straight dark hair.

Weston said the family has set up a Facebook page, Help Find Rose Downwind, which has updates and downloadable flyers for the public to share.

"I think the best way people can help is to keep pushing the flyers around. Keep spreading awareness and keep praying," Weston said. "We are people of spiritual faith, so we believe in the power of prayer.”

 

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