BEMIDJI - Prosecutors have charged a Bemidji man with intentionally killing his ex-girlfriend after an autopsy revealed she was strangled.

Forty-year-old Marchello Cimmarusti was charged this week in Beltrami County with second-degree intentional murder in the death of Rose Downwind of Redby. The charge against Cimmarusti was upgraded from second-degree murder without intent.

Downwind was a granddaughter of American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks. She went missing in October, prompting searches of the area. Her burned body was found in a shallow grave in a forest northwest of Bemidji in December.

Cimmarusti told police he accidentally killed Downwind during an argument. But an autopsy found ligature wire around her neck.

It's unclear if Cimmarusti has an attorney. Two of Cimmarusti's friends are accused of helping bury Downwind's body.