The family of a man fatally shot two years ago in a Maple Grove park is putting up a $20,000 reward with hopes it will lead police to his killer.
Dayton Leonard Rossetti Carter, 26, of Dayton, was found unconscious in a grassy area of Lakeview Knolls Park on N. 93rd Avenue by a passerby about 6:25 a.m. on July 30, 2019. Investigators determined he had been shot.
At the time, police said criminal drug activity was suspected in Carter's death, and two suspects were arrested. They were released from jail but remain persons of interest, Maple Grove police Cmdr. Jon Wetternach said.
"We need an understanding of what happened, to understand the sequence of events," Wetternach said.
Over the past two years, investigators have identified a third person believed to have been at the park that morning. The suspects also are believed to have friends and family members in Maple Grove, Leech Lake, Minn., and Cass Lake, Minn., Wetternach said.
Carter's mother, Jennifer, returned to the park Friday morning on the two-year anniversary of the death of her only child.
"I have come to offer the $20,000 reward for any information of who and why my son was senselessly murdered and taken," she said during a news conference. "A part of me died the day he was taken. We want justice for my son. He meant the world to me."
Dayton Carter grew up not far from Lakeview Knolls park and attended elementary school in Osseo. He moved to Montana when he was 10. After he graduated high school, he worked in the construction industry and oil fields until he moved back to the northwest Minnesota suburb of Dayton two years ago, his mother said.
"He was so outgoing, energetic and made friends with everybody," his mother said. "It breaks my heart every day I cannot talk to him."
Jennifer Carter, who no longer lives in Minnesota, said for the past two years her mind has been preoccupied with why somebody would take her son's life.
"It keeps you up at night," she said. "We need answers."
The Carter family created a memorial in the park and dedicated a park bench in Dayton's memory.
Investigators continue to work the case and hope friends and family members of the suspects or anybody who heard anything will be brave and come forward.
"We hope you will help the Rossetti family," Wetternach said.
Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768