Burnsville man charged with murdering his mother

Staff Report
Posted 7/20/23

Troy M. Mitteness, 56, Burnsville, was charged in Dakota County District Court July 10 with felony murder in the second-degree with intent – not premeditated.

According to the complaint, …

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Burnsville man charged with murdering his mother


Troy M. Mitteness, 56, Burnsville, was charged in Dakota County District Court July 10 with felony murder in the second-degree with intent – not premeditated.

According to the complaint, in late June 2023, Burnsville police had investigated reports of mail theft allegedly committed by Mitteness. During the investigation, officers learned that some proceeds from the mail thefts were deposited into an account belonging to Sandra V. Mitteness, the defendant’s 82-year-old mother. Officers asked to speak to the defendant’s mother about the transactions. Mitteness initially told officers that his mother was in Milbank, S.D. He later told officers that she had died on June 14, 2022.

During the execution of a search warrant at the defendant’s home related to the mail theft investigation, officers located an obituary for Sandra V. Mitteness with an envelope for a funeral home attached. Officers contacted the funeral home about funeral arrangements and found that they had provided no post-mortem care or funeral-related services for the victim at any time. In addition, no other family members or friends had seen Sandra Mitteness in several months. Burnsville police opened a missing person file for the victim and continued efforts to find her.

Several family members were interviewed, all of whom believed Sandra Mitteness to have died in the last 12 months, because the defendant had told them that. He told several family members that his mother had fallen down the stairs and was in a hospital in June 2022. When family members asked to see her, Mitteness told them she had Covid and couldn’t see visitors.

Soon after the defendant’s mother was said to have died, he sold her vehicle to a relative. The relative indicated that the defendant wanted to get rid of the car quickly and even offered it for free. The relative sold the car to a third party. The new owner was located and was still in possession of the vehicle. The car was examined, and an alternative light source gave preliminary indications of the presence of blood in the trunk.

Another search warrant was executed for the defendant’s home on July 6, 2023. Preliminary testing on the stairs of the home indicated the presence of blood. A mattress and box spring with large dark stains on it were also tested and came back positive for the presence of blood.

Burnsville detectives met with the defendant at the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, where he admitted to killing his mother because he had spent all her money, and she was becoming suspicious. He also admitted to researching online how to kill an elderly person without poison and decided to stab her while she was in bed. He also researched the best ways to stab someone to make the death quick and painless.

The complaint states that according to Mitteness, he killed his mother on June 2, 2022, by stabbing her in the neck with a large kitchen knife. A couple of days later, he dismembered her body and placed parts in multiple different large plastic tote bins that he had in the garage. Mitteness then drove from Burnsville to Appleton, Minn., discarding parts of his mother’s body by throwing them in the ditch as he drove. He discarded two of the plastic totes behind a dumpster at an abandoned rest stop on Highway 7 near Willmar.

Officers drove to the rest stop and located two plastic tote bins. The tote bins were the same type officers had located in the defendant’s garage during the search of his home on July 6, 2023. Mitteness was booked into the Dakota County Jail.