Amy Lynn Manna

Amy Lynn Manna

A 30-year-old Mankato-area native was shot to death during a double-homicide last week at her northern Iowa home in Bancroft.

Amy Lynn Manna and her co-worker/friend Mason Cederwall, 22, died from gunshot wounds early on July 12.

The body of Austin Bernhard, 30, of Bancroft, also was found at the scene. Police determined Bernhard fatally shot himself after killing Manna and Cederwall.

Bernhard and Manna had been in a personal relationship at one time.

Cederwall and Manna had worked at a manufacturing business in Bancroft, Aluma Trailers.

Bernhard had been released on bail and scheduled to appear in court July 15 after a July 4 incident at Manna’s home. He was accused of damaging a door to break into the residence and injuring Cederwall by punching his face, police reports said.

A restraining order against Bernhard was served July 5.

Manna was described by her father, Lonnie Martin of Garden City, as a cheerful and kind person who loved animals. “Holidays, like Christmas, were so joyful and fun with her,” Martin said.

He remembers when Manna was about 9 years old, she performed for her family, more than once, a comedy routine she’d copied from a suspendered character on the “Family Matters” TV sit-com. “She would pull the waist of her pants way up, like Erkel, and walk around saying, ‘Did I do that?’”

Manna had attended Mankato West High School and Rasmussen College, Martin said. She also had attended school in the Lake Crystal and Maple River districts.

Family and friends set up a Facebook fundraiser to help cover funeral costs. RIP Beautiful Angel raised more than $3,000 before it closed to donations.

Manna’s personal Facebook page posts photos of her dog and cats, and selfies that show her hugging smiling children. Some of the posts encourage people to support a fundraiser for military veterans and to help a family whose home was damaged by fire.

Bancroft Police Chief Art Ingalls recalled Manna participated in a local fundraiser earlier this summer for a resident who’d been diagnosed with cancer.

Ingalls and another office arrived at the scene of the shootings July 12, shortly after he was contacted by the Kossuth County Sheriff’s Department about a 911 call at 8:13 a.m. to Manna’s residence.

He said the last murder in his town was probably 100 years ago. Bancroft, population 707, is between Blue Earth and Algona, Iowa.

Ingalls, Bancroft’s full-time police officer, is assisted by a part-time reserve officer.

“We, along with the first responders to the scene, have resources to reach out to if we need to talk about it,” Ingalls said. “In my 25 years here (on the force) I’ve investigated all kinds of things, but nothing like this. It’s something you just don’t expect.

“Unfortunately, however, in the last 10 years there have been five (murders) in the county,” he said.

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