According to charges filed late last week, a St. Paul man who went missing nearly a month ago was shot and killed before being thrown from a fishing boat into Lake Superior.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Appreciation said in a news release Monday that the remains of Richard Anthony Balsimo, 34, were discovered Thursday and Friday by divers working with explorers off the coast of Grand Portage. A Duluth person has been arrested and charged in the case, but the BCA said further charges are anticipated.
Robert Thomas West, 41, is accused of helping the man who allegedly killed Balsimo and disposed of his body. West faces one count of aiding a criminal and interfering with an autopsy, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Cook County District Court. No attorney for West is listed in the court documents.
In the complaint against West, prosecutors say another man fatally shot Balsimo on June 20, the last day Balsimo was seen alive in St. However, till Monday afternoon, only West was charged in the case.
One woman — identified in court documents as Subject 3 — told investigators that she met West and another man on June 20 at West’s home, according to the complaint.
The complaint states that the other person seemed to be nervous about something in his car, and subject 3 noticed bullet holes in his front passenger seat.
On June 22, West reportedly asked the woman if she knew anyone who had a boat that could take her out fishing. The woman put West in contact with a commercial fisherman she knew at Grand Portage.
West and Subject set out for 3 different grand portages to meet the fisherman. According to the complaint, on the way, the pair stopped at a campground, where Subject 3 asked West if he was insane.
“Yes, with a dead body in the back,” West reportedly replied, referring to his pickup.
The complaint states that when they arrived at Grand Portage that night, West asked the fisherman to take her to Lake Superior so he could dispose of some of his grandmother’s valuables.
According to the complaint, on the lake, West dropped two 5-gallon buckets and a large haul into the water, telling the fisherman that the tote contained the dog’s remains.
Back in Duluth the next day, West reportedly told Subject 3 that a man at his home had shot Balsimo in self-defense three days earlier, and that Balsimo’s body had been “cut” in a camper.
If convicted on both counts, West faces up to 23 years in prison.