Loved ones fondly remember St. Paul native killed by dogs in Mexico

Mexico dog attack victim

Mexico dog attack victim

Carl Parrish’s voice softens when he talks about his girlfriend, Mina Bast.

“She was just an amazing light. She just always wanted to help people,” he recalls. “She was definitely a poet. That’s what initially attracted me to her. I saw her poetry online.”

The couple — she in San Felipe, Baja California, in Mexico, and he in Tempe, Arizona — had often taken turns visiting each other.

Earlier this month, they talked about Valentine’s Day, planning for a romantic meetup in Tempe.

“We had talked about doing social things for Valentine’s Day,” Parrish says. “Going out and getting dinner and things like that, where we were going to go.”

After meeting in person for the first time in October 2022 and deciding they were a couple the following summer, there were exciting plans ahead.

“We had intended for her to move here permanently in April,” Parrish says.

But now, instead of a celebration, Parrish and Bast’s family are in mourning — and looking for answers.

“I don’t want to believe she’s gone. I don’t want to believe it,” declares Reynetta Mishler, Bast’s mother. “You know, she’s my heart.”

Family members say around 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 3, Bast, a 48-year-old St. Paul native, was walking along the beach near her rental home in San Felipe when she was attacked by a pack of dogs.

Parrish says she walked on that same beach regularly.

“I’ve been on that beach with her several times,” he explains. “For what reason this time, the pack attacked, not really clear at this point why they attacked. This time they did.”

“She died of blood loss by the time people got to her to get the dogs away,” Mishler adds. “To be told that’s what happened to my girl, it’s just hard to comprehend. Really hard.”

Published reports from San Felipe say after the attack, local police and a dog rescue group rounded up the dogs.

San Felipe Dog Rescue says Mexico has the largest number of “street dogs” in Latin America.

The group’s website says the National Institute of Statistics and Geography estimates about 70% of the country’s 18 million dogs live on the street.

Parrish says he’s met with a Mexican prosecutor and hopes to speak with some witnesses this coming weekend.

“There are a lot of wild dogs, and it’s an ongoing problem in that area,” he says.

Parrish says Mexican authorities are trying to determine who owns the nine to 10 dogs involved in Bast’s attack.

Mishler says her daughter, who graduated from Como Park High School, moved around a lot and had never married, but she had had high hopes about her relationship with Parrish.

Bast’s mother says she has been comforted by the messages of love for Bast on social media.

“It just helps my heart to see all these things that they’re writing and the pictures they’re putting up of her,” Mishler exclaims. “I hope she’s at peace wherever she is.”

Parrish says he’s still dealing with the loss of his girlfriend and wants to bring her home.

“Not having her for Valentine’s Day is very harsh,” he says quietly. “The priority for me right now has really been access to her things and making sure her body’s taken care of.”

Friends in the metro say they’re hoping to get Bast home to St. Paul in the next couple of months.

They’re also planning a celebration of life on her birthday, July 21.

“She just loved art, she loved people,” Parrish says. “She loved being able to make people’s lives better.”