Woman Realized a Regular Tanning Customer Was Charged With Murder — Here's What Happened

A tanning salon customer was always friendly to a woman who worked at the store, until one day things got weird. She realized he might be a murderer.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jul. 28 2023, Published 10:48 a.m. ET

The customer isn't always right, especially if that customer might be a murderer. Kayla Reid, who goes by @kaylereid9 on TikTok, works at a tanning salon in Burnsville, Minn. where part of her job involves chatting with clients. One such client had been coming to the salon for years and was always pretty talkative.

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According to Kayla, that was the most annoying thing about him. Kayla knew she was in for a long conversation when this particular gentleman walked through the doors. One day things took a very weird turn when Kayla's phone was stolen, but that's not even the craziest part of the story. What would you do if you discovered you had been friendly with a murderer? Whatever it is, please don't start a true crime podcast.

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How did a woman working at a tanning salon realize a customer was possibly a murder?

This is truly a wild story and I say this as someone who is often a reluctant consumer of the true crime genre. There are more twists and turns in this tale than all of the 1987 motion picture Labyrinth. "I honestly don't know how to process this at all," says Kayla and I can see why.

Kayla has been working at the tanning salon for almost three years and has developed friendships with the regular clients. "Some people will come in and talk to us for 30 or 40 minutes if there is just nothing going on," she explained. Troy Mitteness was one of those people. "He was so nice when he came in," she said. "He would always bring me a bottle of water." But she also dreaded those encounters because they usually lasted a bit longer than necessary.

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On June 5, 2022, Troy came into the salon and was regaling Kayla with his plans for the week. However, before he left, Troy apparently stole Kayla's cell phone. "We don't have him on camera taking the phone, but he was the only one that went into the room that my phone was in," said Kayla. After tracking it, Kayla found her phone about 10 miles away. It was cracked on both sides. Authorities suggested Kayla sue him in civil court. She chose not to do that.

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After discovering that Troy had a criminal record that involved a history of theft, he began harassing Kayla on Facebook. "I have pages of this," Kayla says while pointing to an alarming screenshot. His next move was to leave a bad review about Kayla on the customer care website. This is just the tip of the unhinged iceberg.

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"I just found out that three days prior on June 2, he ... his own mom." In the pause, Kayla says nothing while dragging her finger across her neck in the universal sign for killing. To be clear, Troy allegedly murdered and dismembered his mother. He is facing murder charges.

Kayla is rightfully panicking at this point because it's very much like something out of a movie. Their interactions got to the point where Troy was asking Kayla for dental advice because her parents own a dental lab. She sent photos of his teeth to her folks as recently as January 2022. "You never know, man. Stay safe out there," advises Kayla.

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Here's what we know about Troy Mitteness.

Troy is facing "second-degree murder charges after prosecutors allege he admitted to stabbing and killing his elderly mother last summer," reported KARE 11. Documents filed in Dakota County state that Troy admitted to stabbing his 82-year-old mother, Sandra Mitteness, to death in June of 2022."

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According to the documents, "Burnsville police had been investigating Mitteness over alleged mail theft late last month, before they learned of his mother's disappearance." Apparently, the stolen money was deposited into Sandra's bank account and when asked by authorities where she was, Troy initially said his mother was in South Dakota. He later changed his story, telling investigators as well family that she died on June 14, 2022.

After obtaining a search warrant related to the mail theft, police discovered a fake obituary announcement from a funeral home that had no knowledge of Sandra's death. Troy also gave his mother's car to a family member who then sold it. Police were able to test the vehicle where they found blood present in the trunk. "Later testing of Mitteness's home showed blood was also present on stairs, a mattress, and a box spring, according to prosecutors," per KARE 11.

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When investigators interrogated Troy, he admitted to murdering his mother because he "spent all of her money, and she was becoming suspicious." Troy allegedly stabbed her to death and waited a few days before dismembering her body and disposing of it in "large plastic tote bins, discarding some of them as he drove from Burnsville to Appleton."

In a subsequent TikTok, Kayla points out some disturbing Instagram posts by Troy. On June 15, 2022, he posted a photo of his mother with the caption, "RIP Mom." He also shared a photo of his dog, writing, "Obviously Kody misses mom too." That was posted a little over two weeks after she was killed.

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