MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and other local authorities are investigating after a man’s remains were found in Lake Superior near the shore of Grand Portage. One person now faces criminal charges.
The medical examiner has identified the man as 34-year-old Richard Anthony Balsimo, of St. Paul, and it was determined his manner of death was homicide.READ MORE: 22-Year-Old Arrested In Fatal Assault Of Awwal Ladipo
The man’s remains were located late last week. Balsimo had last been seen in St. Paul on June 20.
According to Cook County court documents, 41-year-old Robert West of South Range, Wisconsin, has been charged with accomplice after the fact to felony murder and interference with a dead body or scene of death.
A complaint states a missing man was found “murdered and dismembered” in buckets and a tote bag on Lake Superior.
Someone with information about the body spoke to the BCA, saying they met up with West and a 35-year-old man June 20. The witness told the BCA the other man “appeared nervous about something he was carrying in his car being discovered.”
The man later asked the witness to deliver a bag with a gun in it to West. West asked the witness if they knew anybody with a boat, and the witness introduced him to an acquaintance in Grand Portage.READ MORE: St. Paul Woman Charged With Murder After Ex-Husband's Body Found Buried In Backyard
According to the complaint, the witness and West went to Grand Portage, stopping at a camping area on the way. At that spot, the witness asked West if he was paranoid, to which he allegedly responded, “ya with a dead body in the back.”
West told the acquaintance in Grand Portage that he wanted to dump his grandmother’s valuables in the lake.
The next day, the witness said West told them the missing man’s body was “chopped up,” that the 35-year-old had shot him and that it was in “self-defense,” according to the complaint.
The BCA later spoke to the acquaintance in Grand Portage, who identified West via photograph as the man he had taken onto the lake. The acquaintance said he saw West drop two 5-gallon buckets and a tote bag into the water. West allegedly said the tote bag contained a dog’s corpse.
BCA agents searched the area where West allegedly dumped the containers, finding the buckets and tote bag, with human remains therein. They found a casino players card belonging to the missing man in a pair of pants in the tote bag. There was a bullet wound in the body’s torso.
West was in custody for a different offense Friday when he confessed to planning the disposal of the body and helping dismember the missing man, according to the complaint.MORE NEWS: 1-Year-Old Boy Killed When Car Rolls Off I-94 Overpass; State Patrol Says Alcohol Involved
Investigators do not believe there is an ongoing threat to public safety.