WINONA, Minn., May 4 (UPI) -- A corpse was discovered in the storage bay of an RV enroute to the Kentucky Derby late Thursday. A Minnesota groom and ten friends were celebrating a bachelor party by driving from the North Star state to Saturday's race when an odd odor swept through their RV during a stop.
Jason Kirk, one of the passengers, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the RV's owner had warned against opening the front storage compartments, claiming they did not work. But while picking up the last of their group in a Shopko parking lot in Winona, the compartment was opened and the grisly cargo discovered.
Another of the passengers, Jake Wanek, said of the corpse, "[it] didn't look fresh look fresh. Let's put it that way."
"At first some of us thought maybe it was a joke, someone playing a prank on the groom," Wanek explained. "We quickly realized that was not the case."
The Anoka County Sheriff's Office has identified the body as 22-year-old Kevin Casserly, an Anoka man missing since December. Due in part to his recently-troubled past, family members had long suspected foul play in Casserly's death. The recovering meth addict was last seen on November 12 running with no shoes near Highway 10 in Anoka. His family has released the following statement on the "Help Find Kevin Casserly" Facebook page:
After 24 weeks of searching, it is with heavy hearts that we share with you that Kevin’s body was recovered on Thursday. Though not released and laid to rest yet, he will be. It is no longer a question of when and where.
To all the volunteers who helped us search for Kevin, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Words cannot express how much the support has meant to all of us and Kevin’s family.
Police in Minnesota have not made any public statements about the direction of the investigation into Casserly's death. No information about the owner of the RV has been released.
The bachelor party never made it to the Derby, instead watching the race from Canterbury Park, a horse track in Shakopee, Minn.