Remains of Slain, Dismembered Minn. Woman Are Found in Landfill, as Friend Sits in Jail

The friend of Dystynee Avery allegedly told Minnesota police he cut up girl with a saw and put her remains in garbage bags

Dystynee Avery
Photo: Go Fund Me

Human remains found in the Clay County, Minnesota, landfill have been positively identified as a 19-year-old girl who was reported missing in early April, according to a press release from the Moorhead Police Department.

Dystynee Avery was last seen on April 3. Police stated “the investigation led to the belief that foul play was involved.”

Two weeks later, on April 17, Ethan Broad was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, according to a police statement and online jail records.

Broad, 27, allegedly confessed to killing and dismembering Avery, but told officials it was an act of self-defense, according to a criminal complaint reported by the Associated Press.

The complaint reportedly states Broad allegedly used a saw to cut up Avery’s body and place her remains in garbage bags before dumping them into bins near his apartment, the AP reported.

Ethan Broad
Ethan Broad. Moorhead Police

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Avery’s mother Doreen spoke to local TV station KVLY and said her daughter had been temporarily staying at Broad’s apartment. She considered him a good friend of Avery’s.

“For him to do what he did, I guess I really don’t know him. Because obviously he’s capable of taking someone’s life,” Doreen told the station. She told reporters Broad was panic-stricken when he called her on April 3rd to tell her that he and Avery had had a fight the night before. He allegedly said he awoke to find her gone — a story he allegedly also told her boyfriend, Jordan Yarobrough, in a phone call.

Adds Yarobrough, who also spoke to the station: “Ethan had told me four different stories. It didn’t add up.”

The investigation remains ongoing and Moorhead Police have made three additional arrests, according to a press release. They include David Erno, Andrea Payne and Brandon Erbstoesser.

Erno, 22, and Payne, 26, were arrested on suspicion of a felony aiding an offender in second-degree murder, according to online jail records.

Payne allegedly told police she was in the apartment when Avery was killed, according to court records obtained by the local website Valley News Live.

Payne allegedly heard Broad and Avery fighting in the back bedroom, the site reported. After hearing a large thump, Broad allegedly told Payne he struck Avery with a lead pipe. Payne left the apartment and when she returned, Erno was allegedly at the apartment.

On Monday, police stated Erbstoesser, 33, was arrested in West Fargo, North Dakota. He was arrested on suspicion of accessory to murder. He is currently being held in Cass County jail in North Dakota awaiting extradition, police stated.

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