Minnesota’s Christian Search and Rescue Aid departments found human remains on Saturday. morning, it is believed to be Ashley Miller Carlson, which private investigators have confirmed.
PINE COUNTY, Minn. – After weeks of worthlessness research efforts by authorities and other volunteers to find Ashley Miller Carlson, search and rescue volunteer Japheth Stauffer said his team received a call from the Pine County Sheriff’s Office.
“They called us and asked us, ‘Are you considering coming in? “,” Stauffer said.
Stauffer is part of Minnesota Search and Rescue – Christian Aid Ministries, a non-profit organization of approximately 40 men of Mennonite faith who see their mission as helping in times of crisis. The self-funded organization is equipped with drones; command and staging trailers; and GPS mapping and tracking software. They are trained in search and rescue tactics and assist in situations ranging from storm recovery to missing persons.
“It’s a matter of faith for us,” Stauffer said. “In our faith, we believe that Christ went to seek us when we were lost, and it is our ability now to be his hands and feet in a very physical way for others when they are lost.”
Stauffer said the group had previously worked with Pine County and this time Miller Carlson’s family were in contact with them as well.
“In fact, it was at their request that we came specifically this weekend, because they wanted to try to cover so much ground before the snow came,” said Stauffer. “Wintertime does things that are hard to prove, and that’s why they wanted to cover as much ground as they could to try and find Ashley.”
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Stauffer, who was unable to participate in the search over the weekend, said around 12 team members started on Friday and more joined on Saturday. In the morning, they made the discovery in a wooded area near Lake Lena, about 25 miles east of Hinckley. His remains were discovered two or three miles from where his car was found, according to private investigator Justin Terch.
“The family was there during our debriefing… and shared with us what it meant to them,” Stauffer said. “It was consoling for them. It was a feeling of relief, but at the same time, real grief. It was the end.”
Stauffer says that for members of the search and rescue team, it can also be mixed emotions.
“We want to be there for the family, and sometimes it’s just listening, sometimes it’s praying with them, it depends on what they want and what they need during that time,” he said. -he declares. “It’s pretty dark.”
Stauffer says his team is required by law enforcement to keep the details of the find private.
“Because we want to be trustworthy,” he said. “They have an ongoing investigation, and we want to be respectful of that.
For now, he says his team is grateful that they were able to help shut down one way or another.
“This is the time when we rely on our faith and the Lord Jesus Christ to give us strength,” Stauffer said. “He knows the pain that we feel in times like this. So He is able to comfort us, so we can comfort others as well.”
On Sunday, the Pine County Sheriff and the BCA were unable to comment. The Pine County Sheriff’s Office said it wouldn’t be able to send an update until Monday at the earliest.
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