Charges: Burnsville man spent his mother’s money, killed her when she became suspicious

A Burnsville man is now charged with killing his mother last year, then disposing of her body in totes he threw alongside a road.

Troy Michael Mitteness, 56, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 82-year-old mother, Sandra Mitteness.

Court documents note Troy Mitteness first came under investigation for mail theft. During the course of that investigation, some of the proceeds from the alleged mail theft were deposited into Sandra Mitteness’ account. When police contacted Troy Mitteness and asked his mother’s whereabouts so they could talk to her about the money, he said she was in South Dakota, then said she died last year.

Police executed a search warrant at Troy Mitteness’ home and found an obituary that said Sandra Mitteness had died on June 14, 2022. However, when police contacted that funeral home, the employees denied ever providing services for her.

A criminal complaint states police talked to other family members and friends of Sandra Mitteness, all of whom said they thought she’d died because that’s what Troy Mitteness had told them.

The family members told police that Troy Mitteness claimed his mother was hospitalized after falling down stairs in June 2022. When people asked to visit her, Troy Mitteness said she had COVID-19 and couldn’t have visitors, the complaint states.

Additionally, it notes that Troy Mitteness quickly sold his mother’s vehicle to a relative after she died. The relative told police Troy Mitteness was trying to get rid of the vehicle quickly and even offered to give it away for free. That relative then sold it to a third party, whom police tracked down.

The complaint states that the car’s new owner gave officers permission to examine it and, using a special light, investigators found indicators of blood in the car’s trunk. That led officers to search Troy Mitteness’ home on Thursday, and preliminary testing showed indications of blood on the stairs and a mattress.

When Troy Mitteness was brought in for questioning, he admitted to killing his mother, saying he’d spent all of her money and she was becoming suspicious and wanted to see her finances, according to the complaint. He added that he researched ways to kill an elderly person without poison and less pain, then decided to stab her in the neck.

According to court documents, after his mother had been dead for a couple of days, Troy Mitteness told police he put her body in several large totes, drove toward Appleton, Minnesota, and discarded the totes alongside the road as he drove. He also placed two totes behind a dumpster at an abandoned rest stop along Highway 7.

Police contacted the new owners of that rest stop and found the tote bins, which had been moved to a burn pile but not yet burned.

Troy Mitteness made his first court appearance Monday, and a judge set his bail at $2 million with conditions. His next appearance is set for July 20.

While he faces up to 40 years in prison for his mother’s murder, he’s also facing additional time in prison for mail theft, which he was formally charged with late last month.