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Hastings man charged with burning friend's dead body in a trash can

18December 2021

After his friend fatally overdosed in his bedroom, a Hastings man tried to cover up the death — by wheeling the body in a garbage can down to the Mississippi River and setting it on fire, authorities say.

Timothy Lee Otto, 33, was charged with second-degree arson and interference with a dead body, both felonies, Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena said Friday.

Otto told cops that he “did not know what to do” after Kyle David Hamilton overdosed and didn’t remember what happened afterwards, according to the criminal complaint.

Hamilton, 30, died in July after overdosing on methamphetamine and fentanyl in Otto’s room in a Hastings home called the “Doghouse,” that often housed drug users and sellers, the complaint reads.

According to investigators, several people saw Hamilton slumped over in the room, and on July 7, one man noticed that it looked like he had died and “began to freak out,” the criminal complaint reads. Otto “put a blanket over the Victim and went to work,” according to the complaint.

Two days later, Otto allegedly asked a woman if she “wanted to see fireworks” and told her that he had brought his friend’s body in a garbage can down the bike path to the boat launch in Hasting’s Jaycee Park and set it on fire, the woman told investigators.

Hamilton’s body wasn’t discovered until July 10, when firefighters and police responded to the fire in Jaycee Park. After the blaze was put out, officials discovered his remains next to a portable restroom that had been destroyed in the fire. Officers found the melted parts of a wheeled garbage can underneath the body.

The autopsy found that Hamilton had fatal amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system. His body had been covered in gasoline and set on fire, according to findings from the State Fire Marshall and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Otto is being held in the Dakota County jail on $200,000 bail ($150,000 with conditions).

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