Hastings man charged with arson, concealing a body

Formal charges have been filed against a Hastings man after authorities say another Hastings man was found dead earlier this summer.

According to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, 33-year-old Timothy Otto has been charged with one count of second-degree arson and one count of interference with a dead body or scene of death.

Otto’s bail was set at $200,000 without conditions and $150,000 with conditions.

A criminal complaint states crews were called to a fire along the Mississippi River at Jaycee Park on July 10. They found a portable restroom was destroyed, and a partial enclosure surrounding the toilet was also damaged. After the flames were put out, they also found the remains of a man’s body, who was found to have fatal amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl in his body.

Authorities say the remains were determined to be those of 30-year-old Kyle Hamilton.

Other pieces of plastic and metal were found after Hamilton’s body was moved and were determined to be the remains of a garbage can on wheels. Similar trash cans were found in the area.

In addition, the complaint states an accelerant was found by the State Fire Marshal in the soil under Hamilton’s body, and they determined the fire’s origin was his body.

Afterward, investigators found Hamilton had frequently stayed at a location known as the "Doghouse" in Hastings. Police said they knew of other people who had stayed at that location, and those same people were known to use and sell controlled substances.

The complaint goes on to say investigators spoke to a man who told them he saw Hamilton "slumped against the wall in a bedroom in the Doghouse occupied by Timothy Otto" while he was on a Facetime call on July 7.

In addition, documents state a woman told investigators she saw Hamilton in Otto’s room on July 6, and that Hamilton was sitting on the floor, snoring.

Eventually, Hamilton stopped snoring, and on July 7, a man entered Otto’s room and noticed Hamilton appeared to be dead and began to freak out, according to the complaint. That’s when the document says the man checked for a pulse, but couldn’t find one, and all three people assumed Hamilton had died. The complaint goes on to say Otto put a blanket over Hamilton and went to work.

A woman cited in the complaint states on the evening of July 9, she walked to a park next to the river, and saw Otto, who asked her if she "wanted to see fireworks." He then told her, according to court documents, to go to the boat launch. He rode his bike to the launch and Jaycee Park, and the woman returned to the Doghouse. Otto then allegedly followed her, and they went to his room.

The complaint goes on to say Hamilton’s body was gone when they went inside, and Otto told her he had brought Hamilton’s body to the boat launch using the bike path. The document also states Otto set the garbage can on fire with Hamilton’s body inside of it.

When questioned by investigators, Otto told them Hamilton had used drugs while in his bedroom, and he eventually realized Hamilton had overdosed but didn’t know what to do.

Otto’s next court hearing is scheduled for the morning of Jan. 6 in Hastings.