A man’s missing dog led law enforcement to a garage in Vandais Heights, where the owner was found shot to death and left pinned beneath an SUV, according to a criminal complaint.
Jeffrey A. Thomas was charged in Ramsey County District Court on Monday with intentional and unintentional second-degree murder in connection with the death of the 55-year-old visitor at Thomas’ Vadnais Heights home on Saturday.
Thomas, 55, remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail before a court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
The friend, whose identity has yet to be released, died from a gunshot to the chest, according to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. According to the criminal complaint:
Sheriff’s deputies responding to a loose dog call Saturday night found the pet and retrieved from its embedded microchip a phone number. A woman at that number said the dog belonged to her son, who was visiting a friend in the 4200 block of Thornhill Lane.
A deputy spoke with Thomas, who was in a wheelchair near an SUV, which was parked partly in the garage. Thomas said the dog belonged to his friend, who was working beneath the vehicle.
Deputies found the man’s body pinned there. They noticed Thomas, who appeared intoxicated, had dried blood on his hands.