Search finds body in business burned during Minneapolis riots

Nearly two months after the riots that destroyed areas of the Twin Cities, authorities say they found a body in the wreckage of a Lake Street business that had been set on fire

(Photo credit: Melissa Bechtold)

A body was found this week amid the charred rubble of a Lake Street business that was torched during the Twin Cities riots that followed the death of George Floyd in late May.

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) made the announcement this week stating that a body was found inside the burned-out Max It Pawn building on the 2700 block of East Lake Street. The building was set on fire on May 28 during the chaos that erupted in Minneapolis on the second night of heavy rioting following the death of Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

The press release said that on July 20, officials from the MPD and the Minneapolis Fire Department, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division were going through the burned wreckage when the body was discovered.

The body is believed to be an adult male, and authorities were reportedly directed to it based on a tip, according to a report. The case has been turned over to MPD homicide detectives.

On June 11, Montez Terriel Lee was federally charged with setting fire at the Max It Pawn location. 

(Montez Terriel Lee, federally charged with arson)

The identity of the deceased person, along with the nature and cause of death, will be released by the Medical Examiner’s Office at a later date. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips may be submitted electronically at All Tips are anonymous and persons providing information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a financial reward.  

So far, over a dozen people have been federally charged related to the Twin Cities arson fires that occurred during the riots and several others are still being sought by the ATF and US Postal Service Inspectors.

Stay with Alpha News for updates on additional state, local and federal charges as they continue to develop. 


Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota