Charges filed against boyfriend in Anna Hurd killing

Anthony Joseph Mitchell Jr. was in a group of North High School AFJRTOC cadets honored by the North St. Paul City Council in September, 2011. (file photo/Review)

Memorials are left at the park bench along the paved trail inside Hillside Park in Maplewood. A foot trail through the snow would lead to more flowers and items left in memory of Anna Lynn Hurd. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Off the paved path and into the Hillside Park woods, memorials gathered at the site where the body of Anna Lynn Hurd was found. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Prosecuters seek to try Anthony Mitchell Jr. as adult for second-degree murder

The Ramsey County Attorney's office has charged Anthony Joseph Mitchell Jr., 17, with second-degree murder in the death of Anna Hurd.

Hurd's body was found in a wooded area of Hillside Park the morning of Feb. 23; she was dead and had been stabbed multiple times.

Mitchell, who lives in Maplewood, was reportedly her boyfriend.

The county attorney has filed two charges against Mitchell: one of second-degree murder with intent but not premeditation, and one of second-degree murder without intent while committing a felony.

Both charges carry the penalty of imprisonment.

Prosecutors are also seeking to try the 17-year-old as an adult. Mitchell will appear in Ramsey County Juvenile Court tomorrow, March 6, for his initial appearance. Acquaintances said he was a student at North High School and participated in the school's Air Force JROTC program.

Hurd had been living with her father in North St. Paul for a year and was due to travel by bus to Texas the evening of Feb. 23 to rejoin her mother and sisters.

Return trip to the park

According to the complaint, Mitchell's mother, Lauri, called  911 at 4:29 a.m. Feb. 23 to report her son had found his girlfriend beaten in the park, which is southeast of the intersection of McKnight Road and Holloway Avenue. She told police her son had told her Hurd was not breathing.

Maplewood police officers who responded said Mitchell led them to Hurd's body, at least 15 feet off a trail in a wooded area. They noted, "It was only with the directions provided by (Mitchell) that the officers were able to locate" her.

In their investigation, police found that Mitchell and Hurd had left his home, which is about six blocks from hers, for a walk sometime between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. Mitchell reportedly returned home without Hurd, and told his mother she was walking to a friend's house nearby. He then went upstairs to the bathroom.

Around 4 a.m., Mitchell reportedly left he house again, telling his mother he was going to look for Hurd because he had not heard from her.

His mother told police he returned a short time later with blood on his hands and "hysterical," according to the complaint. He demanded his mother call 911 and allegedly did not go upstairs to the bathroom.

Evidence found in bathroom

The complaint states that a provisional report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner found Hurd died of multiple stab wounds.

While searching Mitchell's home, police reported they found blood smears on the vanity cabinet and traces of blood on a towel in the upstairs bathroom. Officials report testing revealed the DNA recovered from the items matches Hurd's blood DNA.

Interviews of students who attended North High School with Hurd and friends and family members revealed she was planning to break off the relationship with Mitchell, police say. However, teens who knew her told them he was "clingy" and "controlling." She reportedly confided to a friend the evening of Feb. 22 that she was leaving the next night on a bus for Texas without him; Mitchell had reportedly been telling others he was going with her.

According to the complaint, witnesses say Mitchell regularly carried knives and was seen handling one the evening of Feb. 22.

Further, they said, Mitchell had become so angry with Hurd during a recent argument that he hurt one of her kittens.

The complaint alleges that Mitchell gave several conflicting accounts of how he found Hurd. First, investigators say, he said no one else was in the park,

Police arrested Mitchell shortly after noon March 1 but did not reveal his identity until charges were filed.

Screams heard in park

A homeowner in the Hillside Park neighborhood, who asked not to be identified, told the Review that a member of her household had heard loud noises in the park the night of Hurd's death. She described the sounds as "pterodactyl-like screams."

The mother said her teenager daughter described Anna as always polite and talkative.

"She was one of those types that wanted to be your friend, and once she was your friend, she was your best friend," the woman said.

A memorial fund in Anna Hurd's name has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank. Funeral services were held Feb. 28 at St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in North St. Paul.

-- Johanna Holub contributed to this story.

Referenced Article: 
Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Comment Here