BURNSVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) - The last memories neighbors have of 41-year-old Elizabeth Perrault are of a woman shaken.
Authorities found her body near the Minnesota River in Burnsville earlier this week, nearly five months after she disappeared on Halloween last year--which turned out to be her birthday. Those close to Perrault say she was worried over the actions of her live-in boyfriend Uriah Shulz, who took off with her food stamps card shortly beforehand.
The medical examiner has not determined the cause and manner of death, and local police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.
Neighbors recall a large commotion Halloween night inside the couple's apartment, with loud noises that in hindsight should have set off warning bells.
"It was like a boom," said one neighbor, who wishes to remain anonymous for safety reasons. "It was just a real big boom."
Shulz relied on her to make rent and left their apartment in November, though Perrault wasn't reported missing until some time later in February.
Police later searched the apartment and search warrants show detectives found a large blood stain on the carpet, while Shulz used her food stamps card multiple times to withdraw money.
The array of stories he told about Perrault's whereabouts also raised investigators' suspicions--telling police he saw her leave with two women while posting on Facebook soon after that she was in treatment at different facilities. Shulz even later told others that he "broke up with that girl and moved home."
In fact, Shulz didn't even approach anyone about his girlfriend's disappearance until two days after her disappearance, with neighbors saying he was "crying uncontrollably" over the situation.
Perrault's neighbors, meanwhile, couldn't believe it.
"I just don’t buy that story," a neighbor said. "He just told my son and myself, “We’re getting married. I bought her a house and we’re getting married."
Burnsville Police say they're still working to piece the case together and aren't naming any persons of interest yet.
“Our thoughts go out to the family of this individual,” Burnsville Police Chief Eric Gieseke said in a statement. “Any loss of life is a tragedy, and we are allocating all of the resources necessary in this investigation to determine what happened.”
The Burnsville Police Department is asking anyone with information on Perrault or the case to call Detective Jeffrey Klingfus at 952-895-4635.