Stepchildren accused of killing Upstate New York man, burning his corpse

Source: Unsplash; Monroe County Sheriff's office

Aug. 22 2021, Published 10:38 a.m. ET

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The step-children of a New York man whose remains were found in a fire pit have been charged in connection to his death.

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William Mason was reported missing from the Town of Parma in May, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced. Nearly eight weeks later, Deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office found his bones in a firepit on his property.

Police announced 43-year-old Lance Mitchel and 46-year-old Dawn Mitchel, both Ogden residents, were arrested in connection to Mason’s death and disappearance on Aug. 20.

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Lance Mitchel was charged with second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and concealment of a corpse. He is being held at the Monroe County Jail on no bail.

Dawn Mitchel was charged with tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a corpse. Her bail was set at $150,000 cash, $500,000 bond, and $1 million partially secured.

Both of them pleaded not guilty to all charges at their arraignment, according to

"We quickly learned that this was not a normal missing person case, that there was something quite wrong with this investigation, with the information we were getting," Monroe County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Michael Fowler told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle when the missing persons search turned into a homicide investigation on June 28.

"To our belief, this was not a random crime," Fowler said. He went on to say that deputies believe that Mason was the "sole target, if in fact those are remains."


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