Skip to main content

Charges: Missing man’s dismembered remains placed in buckets, dumped in Lake Superior

He was reported missing from St. Paul on June 20.

Multiple agencies are investigating after a St. Paul man's remains were found in buckets and a tote bag at the bottom of Lake Superior last week. 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the remains of Richard Anthony Balsimo, 34, of St. Paul, were found in Lake Superior off the shore of Grand Portage in Cook County last week. 

Warning: This story contains upsetting details.

Balsimo was last seen in St. Paul on June 20, with the BCA previously saying he may be in the Duluth/Superior area. 

Dive teams located his remains on July 15 and 16 about 146 miles northeast of Duluth. 

A medical examiner ruled Balsimo died of "homicidal violence," and a criminal complaint suggests he was shot in the torso before his body was dismembered and thrown into the lake. 

Robert Thomas West, 41, of Duluth/South Range, Wisconsin, has been charged with one count of aiding an offender and one count of interference with a dead body in connection to the incident. 

According to the criminal complaint, on July 13 the Douglas County, Wisconsin, Sheriff's Office told the BCA it had learned Balsimo was likely killed and dismembered on June 20, and his body was later placed in 5-gallon buckets in Lake Superior outside of Grand Portage, Cook County, Minnesota.

A witness said they met with West who asked to boat him on Lake Superior, where West dropped two 5-gallon buckets and "one large tote," which he claimed to be the body of a dog, into the lake, charges state. West had said he was also disposing of personal belongings. 

The witness helped officials locate where the buckets were dumped, with the BCA recovering the tote and one bucket. Inside the tote was a human torso with legs, arms and head removed, charges state. In the pocket of a pair of pants was a casino players card belonging to Balsimo. 

There was a bullet wound in the torso, the complaint says. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

West, who was in custody in Wisconsin on unrelated charges, told investigators on July 16 that he came up with the plan to dispose of Balsimo's body and assisted in dismembering his body, the complaint says. 

The complaint names a suspect in Balsimo's death but he has not been formally charged. The BCA says additional charges are expected.

"This is an active and ongoing investigation, but based on what is known at this time, investigators do not believe there is an ongoing threat to public safety," the BCA said. 

The BCA as well as the Cook County Attorney's Office, Cook County Sheriff's Office, Douglas County, Wisconsin, Sheriff's Office, Minnesota Attorney General's OFfice, St. Louis County Sheriff's OFfice, St. Paul Police Department and Superior, Wisconsin, Police Department are all assisting in the investigation. 

There's nothing in the complaint to suggest Balsimo's death is related to the dismemberment investigation in Minneapolis, but Bring Me The News has reached out to check.

Next Up

Police tape

Woman dies after being shot in Minneapolis

The woman in her 20s died at the scene.

318932855_566492482149686_9036958628999185261_n

Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.

318945683_10161683635994714_4236667683357316937_n

22 dogs taken in by Animal Humane Society from shuttered breeder

The dogs were taken in after a report stated there were too many on a single property.

COVER

Latest on the 2 snowstorms set to impact Minnesota

The first arrives Thursday night into Friday before a bigger system comes next week.

PepperSprayCopMPD

Cop who pepper-sprayed downtown protesters received $150K payout

Samantha Belcourt said she "feared for her life."

Powerball Minnesota lottery

$1 million Powerball prize won in Twin Cities

The winning ticket was sold in Chanhassen for Wednesday's draw.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 9.16.18 AM

Animales Barbeque Co. looks to open brick-and-mortar location

The popular food truck has partnered with the owner of Billy Sushi.

Christmas presents

Here are some 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to keep in mind

Most deadlines are a few days before Christmas Eve.

Related

Jacob Colt Johnson

Third person charged in St. Paul man's killing, dismembering

Richard Balsimo was reported missing on June 20. His remains were later found in Lake Superior.

MNBCA - Balsimo 1

Second arrest made in murder, dismemberment of St. Paul man

The 31-year-old woman was booked into St. Louis County Jail.

MNBCA - Balsimo 1

Authorities searching for missing 34-year-old St. Paul man

Police say he might also be in the Duluth/Superior area.

Anthony Puckett

Missing Superior man's body found in Wisconsin river

The 40-year-old was reported missing late Monday, April 22.

Facebook - Kou Yang - MNBCA

St. Paul man, 50, missing for more than 3 weeks

Authorities are asking for the public's help finding Kou Yang.

anthony wicklace

Charges: Minnesota YouTuber sexually assaulted victim, Tased her

He offered the woman a ride after she was removed from a residence in St. Paul, charges say.

jonathan greyblood

Charges: Little Falls man strangled his wife, dumped her body under a bridge

He had reported her missing and then admitted he had strangled her, charges say.

Mohamed Mohamud Farah

Charges: Minneapolis man shot another man to avenge his brother's death

The suspect fatally shot a 36-year-old St. Paul man in an auto body shop on March 30, charges state.