WINONA, Minn. — A group of men on their way to the Kentucky Derby for a bachelor party made a gruesome discovery after they pulled their rented RV over in southeastern Minnesota: a body inside the vehicle’s exterior cargo compartment.
Authorities confirmed Saturday that the body is that of an Anoka, Minnesota, man who has been missing since November. The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said the death of Kevin Casserly, 22, is being investigated. About 150 people attended a vigil Sunday night near the Northstar commuter rail station where Casserly was last seen back in November. Searchers had regularly gathered to look for Casserly, the father of two children, ages 4 and 6. Additional updates were expected to be released on Monday.
Officials say the men who found the body had rented the recreational vehicle from someone in Anoka County on Thursday, and they headed south.
Jake Wanek, of Minneapolis, was a part of the bachelor party and said the men pulled over in Winona to pick up the last members of their group. While they were there, they began investigating a foul odor and found Casserly’s body lodged in a compartment of the RV that was accessible only from the outside.
Wanek told the Star Tribune that one of the men opened and closed a front compartment, which stirred up the odor. The men opened the compartment on the other side and saw the body, with bare feet and pants on.
“We kind of saw it one by one. We didn’t see it all together,” Wanek told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Then it was just all of us asking each other, ‘Just tell me I’m not crazy. That’s really there, right?’ You know, just kind of confirming what we saw.”
Police in Winona questioned the men and seized the RV.
Groom-to-be Dan Trainor, of Rochester, told the Star Tribune he thought the police were suspicious at first but then realized the men had nothing to do with it.
Information on the cause of Casserly’s death was not immediately available. Results of an autopsy were not immediately released.