Swatara man arraigned on murder charge in connection with Outing woman’s disappearance

A Swatara man is facing a murder charge in connection with the death of a Cass County woman.

According to a release from the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, 35-year-old Michelle Mae was reported missing in early October from her Outing home, and law enforcement discovered her body 10 days later after extensive searching.

Joshua Emil Karjala was arrested in October for a probation violation, but was arraigned yesterday on one count of second degree murder in the strangulation death of Mae.

According to the criminal complaint, Mae’s body was found buried on Karjala’s property.

The criminal complaint further states that Mae initially met Karjala through an online dating website, Plenty of Fish.

They agreed to meet on Oct. 3, when Mae was first reported missing.

Karjala, according to the complaint, told corrections officers that he had overdosed on ecstasy that night and didn’t remember what had happened.

Unconditional bail for Karjala was set at $5 million.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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