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Authorities arrest homicide suspect; Nguyen captured late July 31 in Blaine

Lucifer Vincent Nguyen / Dakota County Jail

A New Hope man accused of fatally shooting a Maplewood woman at her Mendota Heights workplace is in custody after evading authorities for three days, Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie said.

Lucifer Vincent Nguyen, 44, was arrested late Monday, July 31, in Blaine. He faces Dakota County charges of second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, first-degree burglary and kidnapping.

Details of his capture at 11:40 p.m. have not been released. The sheriff thanked the public for assisting in the search.

Nguyen is in custody at the Dakota County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

A widespread hunt began Saturday, July 29, after police say Nguyen shot and killed 48-year-old Beverly Cory as he fled from a robbery that morning.

Mendota Heights police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a Mendota Heights home on Delaware Avenue around 9 a.m. Saturday, July 29. The resident told police that a man later identified as Nguyen knocked on the door and inquired about who lived there.

The homeowner told him that no one by that name lived there, and Nguyen drove away in a white Toyota, according to a Dakota County news release, but later came back while the woman was with her grandchild in the home, brandished a handgun and demanded cash.

He left after taking cash and the woman's wallet.

Police spotted the vehicle en route to the home. The driver fled at a high speed after police signaled to pull over. Police later found the unoccupied vehicle crashed in a pond.

Police said Nguyen then forced his way inside a senior living facility, prompting an evacuation of residents. Witnesses reported seeing a man with a gun who matched Nguyen's description.

During their search, police received a report that Nguyen entered the nearby Mendota Heights Business Center, where Cory worked.

Officers at the scene located Cory's body and determined she had been fatally shot.

Her car was missing from the parking lot and located later that day at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo.

Mendota Heights police posted a notice on Facebook Sunday when Nguyen remained at large.

"On a personal note, we didn't know the victim but we did speak with her family and friends," the post said. "If she was half as amazing, caring, and resilient as they are, the world lost an amazing soul."

Commenters on the post offered their condolences and memories of Cory.

"She indeed has a beautiful soul, a funny bone that made me laugh, a kind heart, and a work ethic bar none," said one commenter, who identified herself as Cory's mother-in-law. "Thank you for all your efforts in consoling our daughter and attempting to apprehend this criminal."

Nguyen was found guilty of a hit-and-run incident in Superior, Wis., this spring. He has active charges in Wisconsin of methamphetamine possession as well as felony battery while in jail.