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BCA: Suicide victim would have been arrested in Cold Spring officer killing

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State and local authorities are wrapping up an active portion of their investigation into the shooting death of Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker.

Investigators said Tuesday that they would have arrested 31-year-old Eric Thomes of rural Cold Spring for the murder had he not committed suicide in January, the St. Cloud Times reports.

After police announced a $100,000 reward for information in the case, a tip lead police to Thomes.

Thomes had been questioned several times, but police said his answers were inconsistent. On Jan. 2, investigators attempted to question Thomes at his home. Thomes fled to a nearby building, where he was found dead several hours later.

Detectives had also recovered the murder weapon, a 20-gauge shotgun, on a property that Thomes had access to.

Decker, a 31-year-old father of four, was fatally shot behind Winner's Bar on Nov. 29 while responding to a report of a possibly suicidal man.

Ryan Larson, the man who was allegedly suicidal, was initially arrested and held for questioning in the case. Investigators said Tuesday that Larson is not considered a suspect.

"At this time, the investigation has provided no information that Mr. Larson participated in Officer Decker’s murder. There is no known connection between Mr. Thomes and Mr. Larson related to this crime,” the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release.

The agency says the investigation will continue as new information emerges.

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