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Complaint: Victim found along lake was shot, dismembered

July 20, 2021 GMT

GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. (AP) — A criminal complaint filed in Cook County provides more details about what investigators say happened when the remains of a missing St. Paul were found off the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Portage last week.

A criminal complaint charging a man with helping dispose of Richard Balsimo’s body says 34-year-old victim was shot and dismembered. Balsimo was last seen in St. Paul on June 20. Divers working with investigators found Balsimo’s remains late last week.

The Duluth man charged with aiding and abetting the disposal of the victim’s body says another man fatally shot Balsimo the day he disappeared, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

According to the complaint, an unidentified woman told investigators she met with the two men in Duluth June 20 and the man eventually charged with aiding an offender asked her if she knew anyone with a boat so she put them in touch with a commercial fisherman in Grand Portage.

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When the woman and defendant arrived in Grand Portage, the defendant asked the fisherman to take him out onto Lake Superior so he could dispose of some valuables that belonged to his grandmother, the complaint said.

Once out on the lake, West dropped two 5-gallon buckets and a large tote into the water, telling the fisherman the tote contained the remains of a dog, according to the complaint.

Back in Duluth the next day, the defendant allegedly told the woman that the man who was at his home had shot Balsimo in self-defense, and that Balsimo’s body had been “chopped up” in a camper.