Breckenridge man arrested in connection to 2019 death of roommate, ending 9-month manhunt

Miles Fernando Tovar is charged with manslaughter, first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and harassment in connection to the death of then-29-year-old Brendan Rye, who was killed during an altercation in Breckenridge on Nov. 6, 2019.
U.S. Marshal Service/Courtesy photo

A Breckenridge man charged with manslaughter in connection to the 2019 death of his roommate was taken into custody, ending a nine-month manhunt, according to U.S. Marshals Service reports.

Miles Fernando Tovar, 38, was arrested in Bridgeport, Connecticut, after turning himself in to deputy marshals. Tovar is facing additional charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and harassment in connection to the death of 29-year-old Brendan Rye, according to a U.S. Marshals Service press release issued Tuesday. 

On Nov. 6, 2019, a physical altercation between Tovar and Rye began after a night of drinking, according to a Summit County Coroner’s report of the incident. Rye was found unconscious and not breathing, and Tovar was found with a gunshot wound on his right thigh. 

Rye was transported to a hospital in Lakewood and was later pronounced dead around 6 a.m. Nov. 7, 2019. The manner of death was classified as a homicide, and the cause of death was manual strangulation, according to the coroner’s report of the incident. 

In the report, Tovar indicated he was outside the doorway of a bedroom and that Rye was inside the bedroom when the physical altercation began. Tovar reported hearing a “loud bang” and noticed pain in his leg. Tovar put Rye in a headlock and said he heard another bang as the pair wrestled to the ground, according to the report. Tovar also reportedly told officials he continued to hold Rye on the floor until Rye was no longer moving.

According to the coroner’s report, Tovar said he acted in self defense. 

The arrest comes after a warrant was issued Feb. 3. On Monday, deputies with the U.S. Marshals Service received a call from an unknown man claiming to be with Tovar. After the call, deputies met Tovar at the Brien McMahon Federal Building in Bridgeport and transported him to the Bridgeport Police Department. 

Tovar is awaiting extradition to Colorado. 

The U.S. Marshals Service began assisting the search for Tovar on Feb. 9 through its Colorado Violent Offender Task Force, and “aggressively” began pursuing leads regarding Tovar’s location, including Colorado, Florida, California, Maine and New York. 

Law enforcement has been conducting interviews with Tovar’s family members and friends and reviewing “countless hours of surveillance” along with issuing a $2,500 reward in July, according to the U.S. Marshals news release.

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