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Missing woman’s remains recovered near Hinckley

The remains of Ashley Miller Carlson, the 33-year-old mother of four who was last seen Sept. 23 near the Lake Lena community on the Mille Lacs Band’s Reservation, were recovered there on Saturday, Nov. 27. Lake Lena is about 25 miles east of Hinckley and is one of several districts separated from the main part of the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation.

Law enforcement agencies were on the scene throughout the day, with a cause of death still to be determined as of 3:30 p.m. Nov. 27.

“This is a sad day our family hoped would not come, and there are still many questions that need answers, but the important thing is we now have Ashley,” Krista Struck, Miller Carlson’s mother, said in a news release. “Our family received incredible support from the community these past many weeks, and we thank them, the Christian Aid Ministries volunteer search and rescue team, the many involved law enforcement agencies and Applied Professional Services for helping locate Ashley.”

Applied Professional Services (APS), a Duluth-based investigation firm, received more than 70 calls to its 24-hour tip line, many of which were valuable in helping locate Ashley, the company said in a news release announcing her remains had been recovered.

“We’re pleased we could help Ashley’s family during this terrible time, even though the resolution isn’t what they hoped for,” said APS President Justin Terch. “But at least there is closure to this tragedy, and we know the family finds some comfort in that.”

Miller Carlson’s rental car was found partly submerged in Grace Lake, about 25 miles east of Sandstone, Minnesota, on Sept. 24, according to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office. Her belongings were in the vehicle, authorities said.

The Burnett County Sheriff’s Office just across the border in Wisconsin then checked Miller Carlson’s home but she was not there, Pine County authorities said. This triggered a search involving both Wisconsin and Minnesota Authorities, who used search parties on foot, aircraft, sonar, dogs and divers in their attempts to find her.

The Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 12 said authorities had executed 32 search warrants in their investigation.

Check back for updates to this developing story.


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