Family of missing Moorhead teen searches for answers after friend's arrest, murder charges

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Moorhead police investigate the scene around the Skaff Apartments, 1310 28th Ave S, Saturday, April 18. Janessa Andiorio / WDAY

MOORHEAD — When 19-year-old Dystynee Avery moved to her Moorhead apartment from Texas a year and a half ago, she came to live with her boyfriend.

While she was getting settled in, she quickly made friends with Ethan Broad, a friendship her sister Valarie Parker thought would last a lifetime.

"(Avery) did look to him like a brother," Parker said. "She thought the world of Ethan. When I was busy out doing something or I couldn't talk to her right there at that given moment, she called Ethan."


Parker said everything went well for Avery in her new home until just a few short weeks ago, when she went missing on April 3.

Parker last talked to both Avery and Broad the day before.

She said Broad called her and other family members the night of Avery's disappearance and told them her sister had run off with a "car full of guys."

"(Broad) talked to me for about 30 minutes about everything, and he seemed fine," she said.

Parker used her sister's Facebook page to get the word out of Avery's disappearance, and police started searching the area around the Skaff Apartments, where Broad lived, late last week.

Police arrested Broad Friday, April 17, on suspicion of second-degree murder.

"When we found out that he was the suspect in it, I was beside myself," Parker said. "I couldn't believe it, (I) didn't want to believe it."

Parker said she's still in shock a friend to the family could have possibly done this, and fears he didn't act alone.


"(Broad) called me and said my sister had left with a bunch of guys, and that's not my sister," she said. "My sister wouldn't do that."

As police continue to investigate, and with more information about the incident expected to be released this week, Parker hopes she and the rest of her family can find closure soon.

"I wish this never had to happen," she said. "I want it to be a nightmare."

Parker created a GoFundMe to bring her sister back home, you can find it here .

Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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