Christopher Marc Bellino, 50, went missing in the summer of 2012.

Provided to the Star Tribune,

Christopher Bellino

Feed Loader,

Remains found in park identified as those of missing Lakeville man

  • Article by: Libor Jany
  • Star Tribune
  • May 16, 2014 - 10:39 PM

Local auth­ori­ties con­firmed Fri­day that the skel­e­tal re­mains found in a popu­lar Lake­ville park are the body of a 50-year-old man who van­ished near­ly two years ago.

Lake­ville po­lice said the man was Chris­to­pher Bel­li­no, of Lake­ville, according to the Hennepin County med­i­cal ex­am­in­er’s of­fice. His remains were found Thurs­day near a pic­nic area in Rit­ter Farm Park.

A group of high school stu­dents out on a “field o­ri­en­teer­ing ex­er­cise” found the man’s skull in “fair­ly re­mote sec­tion” of the 340-acre park, said Capt. Kev­in Ma­ni­as, a Lake­ville po­lice spokes­man.

In a sub­se­quent search of the area, in­ves­ti­ga­tors found “ad­di­tion­al skel­e­tal bones be­lieved to be as­so­ci­ated with the skull,” po­lice said.

“Everything we located was surface, or covered by vegetable material,” Ma­ni­as said at a news con­fer­ence on Fri­day. “The area that we searched, there were [bones] located probably 100 to 200 feet away from where the skull was at.”

Bel­li­no was last seen when he went to din­ner with his daugh­ters on July 29, 2012, ac­cord­ing to the National Miss­ing and Un­identi­fied Persons Data­base. He was re­port­ed miss­ing four days later by his mother.

His car was dis­cov­ered on Aug. 26 of that year in the park­ing lot of the Tar­get in Lake­ville, less than two miles from where his re­mains were dis­cov­ered, Ma­ni­as said.

At the time of his dis­ap­pear­ance, po­lice de­scribed Bel­li­no as an “en­dan­gered per­son,” which means that due to any number of circumstances a law enforcement official had determined that he was at risk of injury or death.

An au­top­sy was per­formed Fri­day, the re­sults of which have not yet been re­leased, the po­lice cap­tain said. There was no in­di­ca­tion of foul play.

“Un­til we’ve re­ceived a for­mal re­port from the med­i­cal ex­am­in­er’s of­fice,” Ma­ni­as said, “in terms of man­ner and cause of death, I’m not going to specu­late.”


Libor Jany • 651-925-5033 • @StribJany

© 2018 Star Tribune