On May 1, 2023, the family of Manijeh "Mani" Starren filed a missing person report with the Sain Paul Police Department. They reprted that they had not heard from Starren since April 2023.

Saint Paul Police investigators opened a case and went to the last known location of Starren, which was her apartment on East Seventh Street in Saint Paul. After speaking with management, a search warrant was conducted there, and blood evidence was located in the apartment. This evidence, along with video surveillance, led investigators to believe that a crime occurred and identified a person of interest.

Investigators focused on Joseph S. Jorgenson, 40, of Maplewood, Minn. and his connection to Starren. Jorgenson was the last person to enter Starren’s apartment after her disappearance and made no attempt to report her missing to police.

On Monday, June 26, a search warrant was executed in Maplewood by the Saint Paul SWAT team. When SWAT made entry, Jorgenson started a fire, eventually fought with officers and attempted to disarm them. Two officers suffered minor injuries. Jorgenson was arrested at the scene on unrelated charges and booked into Ramsey County Jail after being evaluated at Regions Hospital. A search of the apartment did reveal blood evidence.

The investigation continued and revealed a connection to a storage facility on the 800 block of Weir Drive in Woodbury. Saint Paul Police executed a search warrant on June 28 and located human remains. The Forensic Services Unit and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner responded to the storage unit and processed the unit as a crime scene. 

The remains were recovered and transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for further examination. The remains were identified on June 29 as Manijeh Starren, 34, of Saint Paul, Minn. and her death was ruled a homicide.

Jorgenson has been charged with one count of second-degree murder by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office in relation to the death of Starren.

“Any crime that occurs in our community is horrific. A homicide is among the worst of all crimes for family, for our community, and even our investigators,” said Saint Paul Police Chief Axel Henry. “Our department is committed to bringing those who cause harm to justice, and now a very dangerous person is under arrest. The apprehension of this suspect illustrated the danger he posed to the public, and the dedication of our officers to protect our community.”

This is the 18th homicide of the year in Saint Paul. 


Last Edited: June 30, 2023