Burnsville man accused of dismembering his 82-year-old mother

Troy Mitteness (Supplied)

A criminal complaint filed on Monday accuses a Burnsville, Minnesota man of fatally stabbing then dismembering his 82-year-old mother and later scattering her body parts across the state.

Troy Mitteness, 56, is charged with murder in his mother's death. He was also previously charged with mail theft, theft, and check forgery for a fraud case that led officers to discover the murder. The investigation into Mitteness' mother's death started in June when officers were attempting to investigate money orders and check thefts over the past year.

Burnsville police learned some of the stolen money had been deposited into an account belonging to Mitteness' mother Sandra.

When officers went to question the mother about the crimes, they ran into Troy Mitteness. Police say first he lied, saying his mother was living in South Dakota. According to the charges, he later changed his story and said she had died in June 2022.

Police later contacted the funeral home that allegedly handled services for Sandra, but the funeral home said they had no record of providing services in the death. Speaking with other family members, officers learned no one had seen Sandra Mitteness in months, charges said. Officers then opened a missing person case.

Several family members said Troy Mitteness had told them Sandra had died after falling down some stairs and later contracting COVID-19. Quickly after the death, police said Troy had unloaded Sandra's vehicle to a family member, even offering it for free.

The family member later sold the vehicle to a third party. When officers found the new owner inspected the vehicle, they found trace evidence of blood in the trunk, charges state.

Executing a search warrant at the Mitteness home, officers found more blood. Afterward, when questioned by the police, the complaint states that Troy Mitteness admitted to killing Sandra. According to the charges, Troy Mitteness admitted to searching for how to kill an elderly person and researching the best spots to stab someone for a "quick and painless" death.

The criminal complaint reads:

"[Troy Mitteness] told the detectives he killed the victim on June 2, 2022, in his Burnsville, Dakota County home, by stabbing her in the neck with a large kitchen knife. After she had been dead for a couple days, [Troy Mitteness] dismembered her body and placed her body parts in multiple different large plastic tot bins."

According to the charges, Mitteness then drove west toward Appleton, Minnesota, discarding the body parts in ditches along the way.

Police say Troy Mitteness admitted to leaving two totes behind a dumpster at an abandoned rest stop on Highway 7 toward WIllmar. Officers recovered those bins on private property. Officers say the bins matched some totes that were in Mitteness' garage.

In a statement, Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena called the murder one of the worst cases she's seen.

"The facts alleged in this case make it one of the most horrific and disturbing cases I’ve experienced in the course of my 34-year career," said Keena in a written statement. "I wish to thank the Burnsville Police Department for their doggedness into the investigation of the disappearance of Ms. Mitteness without which this case may have gone unsolved. My deepest sympathy is extended to the other family members and friends of Ms. Mitteness for their great loss."

Troy Mitteness is being held in Dakota County Jail on the murder charge.