Dismembered Body of a Man Found In Buckets in Lake Superior
A man from St. Paul's body was found this weekend in Lake Superior. He was reported missing last Tuesday. His body was dismembered and found in a tote and a bucket. Dive teams began looking for the body of 34 year old Richard Balsimo last Thursday and Friday.
The Midwest Medical Examiner says the man died of homicidal violence, and that other details regarding the mans death were still under investigation.
Robert West, of Duluth, has been charged for his role in the man's death. A witness told investigators that they had met up with West and a 35 year old man at West's house on June 20th. She said the 35 year old man seemed very nervous about something he was carrying in his car being discovered. The woman later noticed bullet holes in the passenger seat of the man's car. West had asked this woman if she knew anyone with a boat, saying that he wanted to go fishing. The woman then contacted a commercial fisherman she knew in Grand Portage.
The woman and West drove to Grand Portage in a separate vehicles. When they stopped at a camping area along the way, the woman asked West if he was paranoid about something and he replied, "Ya, with a dead body in the back."
West told the fisherman that he had some of his Grandmother's valuables that he wanted to dump in the lake. The fisherman said that West dropped two 5 gallon buckets and a large tote in the lake, and told him the tote contained a body of a dog.
According to the report, West later told the woman that Balsimo's body was chopped up in a camper, and that the 35 year old man they had been with the day before had shot Balsimo in self defense.
When recovered, a man's body was indeed found. A human torso, with the arms, legs and head all removed. It did appear that the torso had a bullet wound but was unconfirmed.
West confessed to disposing of Balsimo's body and assisting in the man's dismemberment.