Woman found dead during lockdown in Mendota Heights, suspect still missing

Image 1 of 2

A woman was found dead in a Mendota Heights business center after a lockdown at a senior living home Saturday morning.

Police are looking for the suspect, Lucifer Vincent Nguyen, who they believe is involved in the woman's death. Nguyen, 44, is described as 5'5'', 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt.

Nguyen is considered armed and dangerous.

Officers believe the suspect may have fled in a stolen vehicle and that he is no longer in the city.

Around 9 a.m. Saturday morning, officers responded to an armed robbery on Delaware Street where they spotted the suspect's car. The man drove off down South Plaza Drive and eventually ran his car into the swamp. He then ran inside White Pine Senior Living nearby.

"He entered in there and said something to the employees, but how long that was, exactly what he said...I don't know," said Mendota Heights Police Chief Kelly McCarthy.

Authorities began evacuating the building, bussing the 45-plus evacuees to the fire station and City Hall. As of Saturday afternoon, the residents have returned to White Pine, though not without some scary and confusing moments.

Gail Okeson waited to be allowed back inside the center so she could see her 93-year-old mother.

"She was O.K. She was very frightened and teary, but she was O.K.," Okeson said.

Chief McCarthy said authorities are contacting everyone who has offices in the building - "including cars that may or may not have been there - "and we'll work backwards from there."

"The staff at White Pines did a great job," McCarthy said. "It was very difficult and we're glad they're safe. However, we will work on this homicide."

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting in the investigation.

"You had a lot of people here who were really hoping that we would find that suspect and be able to take him into custody, and it's a tragedy and demoralizing for everybody," McCarthy said.