US Marshal Service joins manhunt for Breckenridge suspect wanted in connection to 2019 homicide in Summit County
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement by 5th Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum.
Late in the evening Tuesday, July 26, Breckenridge Police Department issued a news release about a suspect wanted in connection to a 2019 death in Breckenridge. U.S. Marshal Service has no information indicating the suspect is in Summit County currently.
Despite the recent release of information, a warrant was issued Feb. 3, 2022 for the arrest of Miles Fernando Tovar, 38, of Breckenridge, in connection to the Nov. 6, 2019 death of Brendan Rye in Breckenridge, 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office spokesperson John Bryan said.
Tovar is facing charges of manslaughter, first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and harassment.
A news release from Breckenridge Police Department said a $2,500 cash reward is being offered for information leading to Tovar’s arrest.
If seen, individuals should not approach Tovar since the U.S. Marshal’s Office reportedly considers him armed and dangerous. Individuals with information are asked to contact the Breckenridge Police Department Detective Jennifer Johnson at 970-453-2251 at extension 1662, or by emailing email@example.com. Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-877-WANTED2.
U.S. Marshal Service took over the search for Tovar in February, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Katrina Crouse said. She said Breckenridge police had attempted to locate Tovar within Summit County but could not find him. Breckenridge police then reached out to the U.S. Marshal Service to aid in the search, she said.
It had become a bit of a “cold case,” Crouse said. The U.S. Marshal Service put out a press release on July 26 to try and generate some leads, she added. Her office, Breckenridge Police Department and the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office coordinated the release of information, according to Crouse.
“As this is an open investigation, we are unable to comment further at this time. We are grateful to have the U.S. Marshals Service involved with this important case and ask for the public’s help in any information related to Mr. Tovar’s whereabouts,” said Heidi McCollum, 5th Judicial District Attorney.
Tovar has ties to Colorado, New York, Florida and the Caribbean Islands, the Marshal Service indicated.
On Nov. 6, 2019 around 10 p.m., police say a co-worker called 911 to report Rye was unconscious and not breathing in their shared condominium in Breckenridge. Law enforcement at the scene said Tovar was found lying on the floor in the hallway, and Rye was found unresponsive in the bathroom. According to previous Summit Daily News reporting, Rye and Tovar reportedly got into a disagreement after a night of drinking.
As of November 2021, McCollum said the investigation was still active but did not have any other details to offer at the time. Investigative records state that Tovar told authorities he and Rye got into a physical fight and that he heard a “loud bang” as a bullet hit him in the leg. He said he put Rye in a headlock and heard another bang as they wrestled to the floor. Tovar reportedly said he held him on the ground until he was no longer moving.
Court documents related to the case, including the arrest warrant and affidavit in support of arrest warrant, were sealed on Feb. 8, 2022, since they would be “contrary to the public interest,” according to the sealing document.
In November 2021, McCollum said her office was still reviewing investigative materials alongside the Breckenridge Police Department, and she said any guess as to when any further steps could be taken in the case would be purely speculative.
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