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Divers search Vermillion River for evidence

Divers searched a portion of the Vermillion River Monday on a tip that evidence from the shooting of Jason Reuter had been concealed there. (Star Gazette photo by Katrina Styx)

Hastings police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) have been steadily working their way through a number of tips regarding the murder of Jason Reuter, but new developments have been hard to find.

Reuter, a 34-year-old Hastings man, was shot to death in his front yard June 22. Police are still searching for his killer.

On Monday, police teamed up with the Dakota County dive team to search a portion of the Vermillion River just downstream of the pedestrian bridge connecting Vermillion Falls Park to Old Mill Park.

Police received a tip that there might be some piece of evidence in the case that had been concealed in the river, said Hastings Chief of Police Bryan Schafer, so they got the dive team in the water to look for any item that might be useful in the case.

“We have to follow up on every lead,” he said.

The dive team started searching the riverbed Monday morning and afternoon. Divers waded through the water that in some places was chest-deep. No significant evidence was found, Schafer said.

Police haven’t found any dramatic breaks in the case, Schafer said. At this point, they are following all the leads they’ve received.

Reuter’s family also is increasing the reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter. On Monday, the family announced the reward is being increased to $15,000.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Hastings Police Department at 651-480-2300 or the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at 651-793-7033.