State Senator's Odd Burglary Arrest Has to Do With Dad's Ashes: Docs

Nicole Mitchell was arrested in Minnesota early Monday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2024 2:00 AM CDT
Updated Apr 24, 2024 2:00 AM CDT
Minnesota State Senator Accused of Burglarizing Home
Democratic State Sen. Nicole Mitchell, right, of Woodbury, speaks with Sen. Robert D. Farnsworth, a Republican from Hibbing, on the floor of the Minnesota Senate on April 2, 2024, at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)
UPDATE Apr 24, 2024 2:00 AM CDT

A Minnesota state senator and former broadcast meteorologist told police that she broke into her stepmother's home because her stepmother refused to give her items of sentimental value from her late father, including his ashes, according to burglary charges filed Tuesday. The arresting officer wrote in the complaint that he heard Nicole Mitchell tell her stepmother "something to the effect of, 'I was just trying to get a couple of my dad's things because you wouldn't talk to me anymore.'" The complaint charges Mitchell with one count of first-degree burglary, a felony. A judge allowed Mitchell to go free on the condition that she not contact her stepmother, the AP reports. In a Facebook post, Mitchell wrote, "Like so many families, mine is dealing with the pain of watching a loved one decline due to Alzheimer's and associated paranoia. ... This has been a true tragedy for our family and my hope is it can return to being a private matter."

Apr 23, 2024 2:00 AM CDT

A state senator and former broadcast meteorologist was arrested on suspicion of burglary early Monday in the northwestern Minnesota city of Detroit Lakes, police said. Democratic Sen. Nicole Mitchell, 49, of Woodbury, was being held in the Becker County Jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary, the AP reports. Formal charges were still pending Monday afternoon, Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd said. Dispatchers received a 911 call at 4:45am from a homeowner about "an active burglary in process at her residence," Todd said in an interview. Officers searched the home and arrested Mitchell, Todd said.

The police chief said he could provide few other details because the case was still under investigation. Public records and an obituary posted by a Detroit Lakes funeral home show that Mitchell's father, who died last month, and stepmother lived on the same block of the same road in Detroit Lakes as where the senator was arrested. The stepmother did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Mitchell worked as a meteorologist with the US military and for KSTP-TV, Minnesota Public Radio, and the Weather Channel before she was elected to the Senate in 2022 from a suburban St. Paul district. She still serves as lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, commanding a weather unit, her official profile says.

(More Minnesota stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.