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Authorities searching for woman connected to Shoreview murder

  • Blog Post by: Nicole Norfleet
  • July 11, 2014 - 4:00 PM

It's been almost a year since Hagos Tsegay Melake, of South St. Paul, was found fatally shot in the head in a Shoreview parking lot, and the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office has republicized a photo of a woman thought to be linked to his death in hopes somebody will identify her.

On Aug. 29, 2013, authorities responded to a report of someone slumped against a building in the 5700 block of Hamline Avenue N. Melake, who didn’t have identifying documents on him, was found lying in the parking lot. Nobody has been charged in his death.

Authorities are still searching for an unidentified woman who used Melake’s card at an ATM at a U.S. Bank office on W. Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis within hours of his death. The unidentified woman was picked up by the murder suspects at approximately 4:15 a.m. somewhere in the vicinity of W. Broadway Avenue. The sheriff's office considers the woman a witness, said Sgt. John Eastham, spokesman for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office. 

"She's not considered a suspect of a crime at all," Eastham said.

Fliers with the woman's photo were handed out this week in Minneapolis, he said.

The night before his body was found, Melake took a bus a little after 10 p.m. from his home to downtown St. Paul, where he went by himself to the Hunan Garden Restaurant. When the restaurant closed around 1:45 a.m., a witness said Melake left in a vehicle with two people, which surveillance photos show as a man with a shaved head and a person with tattoos on his or her arm.

Melake was studying computer engineering at Inver Hills Community College. A few weeks before his death, Melake had been robbed of $3,800. He ended up with one of the robbers’ cellphones, which he used to try to contact his assailants to get his money back.

Crime Stoppers of Minnesota is offering up to $1,000 for information leading up to the arrests in Melake's death. Anyone with information can call 1-800-222-8477.

© 2014 Star Tribune