Suspect in Mendota Heights murder captured with brothers' help

    After a three-day manhunt across the state, the suspect in the murder of Mendota Heights financial advisor Beverly Cody is in jail following his capture in Blaine shortly before midnight Monday night by police assisted by the suspect’s two brothers. A Dakota County judge Tuesday set suspect Lucifer Nguyen’s bail at $1 million during his first court appearance in connection with a July 29 Saturday morning crime spree that left a woman dead and forced the evacuation of a senior care facility.
   The manhunt, which included the issuance of a national arrest warrant, ended relatively calmly Monday night as sheriff’s deputies and state police followed a car driven by Nguyen’s brother to a second vehicle driven by another brother in which the suspect was a passenger, according to a police radio broadcast.
   Police had information from Nguyen’s brother that the suspect was not armed at the time, according to the broadcast. There was no sound of shots fired or reference to weapons drawn during the arrest.
   In the broadcast, police calmly discuss following the vehicle leading them to the suspect, gathering more support and backup as they approached the car in which Nguyen was riding with his brother. Police were able to confirm Nguyen was in the car at a traffic light. After several minutes, an officer calmly announced “We’ve got the suspect in custody.”
   The Dakota County District Attorney’s office had issued a criminal complaint charging Nguyen, 44, of 9324 1st Ave. N, New Hope, with second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree aggravated robbery, and kidnapping.
   The charges appear to be the first Minnesota charges against Nguyen for violent crimes. His publicly available court history includes drunk driving and a number of other traffic offenses, but nothing of the magnitude of the July 29 crimes.
   The current charges stem from a Mendota Heights crime spree beginning shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday. Mendota Heights police responded to a report of a home invasion by a man with a handgun.
   The first victim was at home with a two-year-old child when a man came to the front door looking for the Miller residence. After the resident told the man that was not the house, the man got in his car and drove off. A short time later, the man returned while the victim and the child were in her bedroom.
   The man was holding a checkbook he told the victim he found in her garden. He then pulled a gun from behind his back and demanded cash, according to the criminal complaint. The suspect left the home after the victim gave him money.
   Police responding to the home invasion spotted the suspect’s car and tried to pull it over. The suspect fled police at high-speed and crashed into a pond. The suspect was not in the car when police arrived, but they found the victim’s wallet, according to court records.
   A witness saw the suspect run from the scene and pointed the direction he fled to police. Police were then called to a senior care home at Route 110 and Dodd Road on a report that a man with a gun had forced his way in. The armed man forced an employee into a laundry room, took her work keys and told her not to leave.
   Residents of the senior home were evacuated. During that evacuation, police received a report of blood seeping from beneath a door of an office building across the street from the senior care facility.
   Police found a woman, Beverly Cory, age 48, inside. Cory died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the criminal complaint.
   Investigators discovered that Cory’s car was missing from the parking lot. The car was found the following day at the Washington County Fairgrounds. A man who lives near the fairgrounds reported a man approached him at his home at about 11 a.m. July 29 asking for a ride to a nearby casino. Investigators also discovered the suspect bought a cell phone at a Walmart about three miles from the fairgrounds at 1:30 p.m. on July 29.
   The senior care facility that had been evacuated, White Pine Senior Living, posted a message on its website that all residents and staff have safely returned to the facility.

Murder victim Beverly Cory