2 years later, the investigation into the homicide of Breckenridge resident Brendan Rye continues

Sawyer D'Argonne
Summit Daily News
The investigation into the November 2019 homicide of Brendan Rye is ongoing, according to officials.
Breckenridge Police Department/Courtesy photo

It’s been more than two years since the homicide of 29-year-old Brendan Rye, but details in the case remain scarce as officials continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.

On the evening of Nov. 6, 2019, Rye was killed in an altercation with another man in Breckenridge. Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum said the investigation is still active but couldn’t provide any further information.

“For the integrity of the case, the only thing I’m going to let anyone outside of the direct investigation know is that we are continuing with the investigation,” McCollum said. “It would not be appropriate for me at this or any juncture to disclose specifics of an investigation in a homicide case.”

On the night of the incident, Breckenridge Police Department officers responded to a report of a shooting and strangulation at a condo building on Grandview Drive in Breckenridge. At about 9:30 p.m., Rye and the other man, 37-year-old Miles Tovar, got into a disagreement after a night of drinking, according to the coroner’s report.

The report notes that Tovar said 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 wrested to the floor. Tovar said he held him on the ground until he was no longer moving.

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Tovar called for a roommate in the residence to help, and the roommate called 911 and began administering CPR on Rye, according to the report.

Emergency medical workers transported Rye to St. Anthony Summit Hospital, and he was later taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood via Flight for Life. He was pronounced dead the following morning. The coroner’s report listed the manner of death as a homicide and the cause of death as manual strangulation.

Tovar was treated at St. Anthony Summit Hospital and was released the following day.

Breckenridge Police Chief Jim Baird said the case is still open and actively being worked on by his department, but he said he couldn’t comment much further at this time.

“The specific circumstances of this case have required investigative steps more time consuming than usual,” Baird said.

McCollum said her office is also still reviewing investigative materials alongside the Breckenridge Police Department, but she said any guess as to when any further steps could be taken in the case would be purely speculative.

“There is nothing typical about a homicide investigation,” McCollum said. “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.”

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