Will the Cold Springs cops reimburse Ryan Larson?

'Person of interest' in Cold Spring police officer Thomas Decker's killing hangs himself in standoff

A 31-year-old man who had been under repeated questioning about the shotgun slaying of Cold Spring police officer Thomas Decker killed himself Wednesday after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement at his home near the central Minnesota city, officials said Friday.

Eric J. Thomes, described at this point by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) as a "person of interest," was found hanged in a metal building near his rural Cold Spring home. Thomes ran into the building when he saw investigators arrive for yet another interview, the BCA added.

Authorities also said that the shotgun used to kill Decker on Nov. 29, 2012, was found on property to which Thomes had access.

The BCA stopped short of declaring Thomes the person who killed Decker, 31, behind Winners Bar in downtown Cold Spring and urged anyone to come forward as investigators continue to work the case.

For Ryan Larson, the part-time Winners bartender who was arrested in his apartment above the bar within hours of Decker's killing, the news of Thomes' death and the BCA investigation filled him with conflicting emotions.
Meanwhile ... Ryan Larson's life left in shambles!

Larson returns to Cold Spring apartment

Larson returned to his apartment for the first time Sunday to pick up a change of clothes.

The results of the various searches conducted in the apartment left him emotional and angry, and questioning the quality of the investigation.

“I came back for a half hour and broke down, and then I left,” he said.

After discussing the situation with his lawyer, they invited the St. Cloud Times on Monday to view the apartment.

“We both agreed the public have to see this,” he said. He made the visit with the intent of collecting clothing and school work.

Larson was a student at St. Cloud Technical & Community College.

“But I can’t even find anything,” he said. “Just the sheer disrespect for somebody’s personal property. It disgusts me. “I was irritated. I was confused before, now I’m mad,” he said. “To turn it upside down like this. This isn’t an investigation.”

Among the piles were family photos, school books, assignments and projects. Possessions were strewn about, at times not in the original room in which they had been kept. His bedding was in the kitchen area. Carpet was pulled from floorboards and left in an adjoining room.
Comment: Time to clear Larson's name and reimburse him for trashing his possessions!

Pics from the video in the preceding article.


  1. Connections between Officer Decker and Eric Thomes:

    Cold Spring Murder Suspect Found Dead

    Authorities also said a black van connected to Thomes that had been seen on the night of Decker’s death was recovered.

    Thomes was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Stearns County in 2011 and had a few other speeding and traffic violations. The St. Cloud Times reported that Decker was one of two officers who had stopped Thomes for possible drunken driving in the past.

    And the 31-year-old men were Rocori High School classmates, too.

  2. 1/5/12: Two updates today

    Esme’s Blog: Questions Continue In Decker Case

    The BCA and the Stearns Co. Sheriff’s Department continue to refuse to clear Larson outright, despite the fact they have the murder weapon, which was found at a property Thomes, not Larson, had access to.

    Four days after Larson was released, on Dec. 8, Cold Spring police arrested Thomes for a DWI offense.

    But Thomes only became the focus of the investigation after a tip in response to a $100,000 reward. Decker was shot at point-blank range in a packed parking lot under a bright parking lot light, yet no one has come forward to say they witnessed the shooting.


    Cold Spring Reacts To Developments In Cop-Killing Case

    Many townspeople in Cold Spring, Minn., said Friday that they think the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office owes 34-year-old Ryan Larson – the initial suspect in last year’s officer shooting death — a big apology.

    Larson agrees.

    “When you go to Google and look up my name, all you see are stories and my picture in connection to the murder. They [the authorities] need to fix that,” he said.

    Earlier that day, authorities said another “person of interest” in the case, 31-year-old Eric Joseph Thomes, hung himself this week after fleeing investigators that were trying to talk with him. The weapon that allegedly killed Officer Tom Decker, a .20-gauge shotgun, was also found on a property connected to Thomes.

  3. 1/6/12: Bar patron was a wanted man night of slaying

    The local man who hanged himself after becoming a ''person of interest'' in the shotgun killing of officer Thomas Decker had faced imminent arrest on the night of Decker's shooting.

    According to court records, Eric J. Thomes, 31, a regular patron of Winners Bar near where Decker was shot, had failed to appear in court in connection with a drunken-driving charge and a judge had ordered that he be taken into custody.

    Thomes was later linked to a vehicle seen leaving the bar after Decker was shot, and police had interrogated him several times before he committed suicide last week.

    His death threw a new obstacle before investigators, who said Friday they were still struggling to piece together the events that led up to Decker being shot twice in the head. Decker had assisted in the DWI arrest of Thomes, but it was unclear whether Thomes understood he was about to face the threat of arrest on the night of Decker's killing.


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