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Suspect Wanted for Killing His Roommate in Mysterious 2019 Altercation, U.S. Marshals Announce


Miles Fernando Tovar (left), and Brendan Rye.

More than two years ago, a man allegedly claimed to have killed his roommate in self-defense. Now, federal authorities say he committed manslaughter and other offenses.

The U.S. Marshals are seeking to arrest Miles Fernando Tovar, 38, a.k.a. Miles James Hippner, according to a Monday announcement.

As previously reported, authorities said the suspect killed Brendan Rye, 29. The question through these years was whether Tovar was legally culpable.

Cops in Breckenridge, Colorado said they were called on Nov. 6, 2019 at approximately 9:48 p.m. to an address in the 1000 block of Grandview Drive. There was a report of shots fired.

“Upon arrival, officers found a 35 year old male from Breckenridge with a gunshot wound to the leg,” police said before identifying anyone involved. “In addition, a 29 year old male from Florida was unresponsive with significant injuries but did not appear to have been shot. A third subject reported the call and was unharmed.”

The two men had an altercation, officers said. Police said investigators recovered a handgun. Both men were taken to the Summit Medical Center. Rye ended up being transported to Saint Anthony’s Hospital, where he died.

“[Rye] had recently moved to the Breckenridge community,” cops in Breckenridge, Colorado said at the time of the Nov. 6, 2019 incident. “All parties involved in this tragic incident were known to each other and have been cooperating with our continuing investigation. The 35 year old subject with the gunshot wound was released from the Summit Medical Center on the afternoon of November 7th.”

No charges were filed at the time.

“There is nothing typical about a homicide investigation,” Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum said in 2021, according to The Vail Daily. “Different leads take us to different places. Different avenues in an investigation may take two minutes or they may take two months or they may take longer. It simply depends, and there are no two homicides that are equal.”

Tovar and Rye got into a disagreement after a night of drinking, according to the coroner’s report obtained by the outlet. Tovar allegedly said the two got into a physical fight. In this version of events, he heard a “loud bang,” and a bullet struck him in the leg. He put Rye in a headlock, heard another bang, and held him on the ground until Rye no longer moved. Tovar allegedly called for another roommate, who called 911.

Investigators determined Rye died of homicide — manual strangulation.

“The specific circumstances of this case have required investigative steps more time consuming than usual,” Breckenridge Police Chief Jim Baird said in 2021.

A U.S. Marshals spokesperson confirmed to Law&Crime that the wanted poster was in regard to Rye’s death but declined to go into further detail because of local authorities’ ongoing case.

The agency described Tovar as white or white Hispanic. He was born in Connecticut. He stands 5 feet, 11 inches tall. He weighs 165 pounds, the agency noted. He has brown hair and brown eyes. There is a tattoo on his right shoulder reading “In God I Trust,” and a tattoo which they described as “flowing lines from his left shoulder to his left arm.”

The suspect is wanted by the Breckenridge Police Department for first-degree burglary, manslaughter, first-degree criminal trespass, and harassment. There is a $2,500 reward for information leading to his arrest, authorities said. He is considered armed and dangerous.

“If seen, do not approach him but immediately call law enforcement,” U.S. Marshals said.

You can submit a tip through their website, or calling 1 (877) WANTED2.

You can also reach out to the Breckenridge Police Department.

[Image of Tovar via U.S. Marshals; image of Rye via Breckenridge Police Department]

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