Homicide

Montana man charged in Great Falls slaying captured after 3-day manhunt

  • This booking photo released by the Cascade County Sheriff's Office, shows Branden Conrad Miesmer, 26, suspected of shooting and killing a man in Great Falls, Mont., sometime Sunday night or early Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Police said he then forced two people to drive him to Helena. Police believe Miesmer is wandering armed and barefoot and possibly cold and hungry in the hills north of Helena. They were searching Tuesday, Sept.. 8, 2015, near Hauser Dam to the suspect, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. (Cascade County Sheriff's Office via AP)

    This booking photo released by the Cascade County Sheriff's Office, shows Branden Conrad Miesmer, 26, suspected of shooting and killing a man in Great Falls, Mont., sometime Sunday night or early Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Police said he then forced two people to drive him to Helena. Police believe Miesmer is wandering armed and barefoot and possibly cold and hungry in the hills north of Helena. They were searching Tuesday, Sept.. 8, 2015, near Hauser Dam to the suspect, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. (Cascade County Sheriff's Office via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Deputy Uriah Wood, right, speaking with members of the Montana Highway Patrol, points to the mountainous slope the missing murder supect allegedly scaled Monday morning after ditching a vehicle at Hauser Dam near Helena, Mont., Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, 2015, as teams of officers swept door to door looking for Branden Conrad Miesmer, 26, suspected of shooting and killing a man in Great Falls, Mont., sometime Sunday night or early Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Police said he then forced two people to drive him to Helena. Police believe Miesmer is wandering armed and barefoot and possibly cold and hungry in the hills north of Helena. They were searching Tuesday, Sept.. 8, 2015, near Hauser Dam to the suspect, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Deputy Uriah Wood, right, speaking with members of the Montana Highway Patrol, points to the mountainous slope the missing murder supect allegedly scaled Monday morning after ditching a vehicle at Hauser Dam near Helena, Mont., Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, 2015, as teams of officers swept door to door looking for Branden Conrad Miesmer, 26, suspected of shooting and killing a man in Great Falls, Mont., sometime Sunday night or early Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Police said he then forced two people to drive him to Helena. Police believe Miesmer is wandering armed and barefoot and possibly cold and hungry in the hills north of Helena. They were searching Tuesday, Sept.. 8, 2015, near Hauser Dam to the suspect, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Two Lewis and Clark County police officers approach a residence in the Hauser Dam area near Helena, Mont., Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, 2015, as teams of officers swept door to door looking for Branden Conrad Miesmer, 26, suspected of shooting and killing a man in Great Falls, Mont., sometime Sunday night or early Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Police said he then forced two people to drive him to Helena. Police believe Miesmer is wandering armed and barefoot and possibly cold and hungry in the hills north of Helena. They were searching Tuesday, Sept.. 8, 2015, near Hauser Dam to the suspect, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Two Lewis and Clark County police officers approach a residence in the Hauser Dam area near Helena, Mont., Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, 2015, as teams of officers swept door to door looking for Branden Conrad Miesmer, 26, suspected of shooting and killing a man in Great Falls, Mont., sometime Sunday night or early Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Police said he then forced two people to drive him to Helena. Police believe Miesmer is wandering armed and barefoot and possibly cold and hungry in the hills north of Helena. They were searching Tuesday, Sept.. 8, 2015, near Hauser Dam to the suspect, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

A fugitive suspected of killing a man in Great Falls was captured Wednesday after a three-day manhunt north of Helena that involved more than 100 officers from several agencies, the Lewis and Clark County undersheriff said.

Officers found Branden Conrad Miesmer, 26, in a shed near a residence at 5:45 p.m., said Undersheriff Dave Rau, adding that "everything went smooth" during the capture and that Miesmer did not struggle.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said Miesmer was in a homemade trailer in the bottom of a ravine.

Miesmer has been charged with homicide in the death of Cody Steve Bruyere, 26, in Great Falls late Sunday or early Monday. Miesmer will be held at the Lewis and Clark County jail. His first court appearance is expected Thursday morning, Rau said.

Officials had been going door-to-door and searching hillsides by ground and by air for Miesmer. More than 110 officers from agencies that include the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and as far away as Gallatin County were involved in the manhunt.

A man and a woman reported that Miesmer forced them to drive him to Helena, where he carjacked another vehicle Monday morning and drove toward Black Sandy State Park near Hauser Dam, authorities said. He abandoned the car and fled on foot, leaving behind his sandals on the base of a steep hill, Dutton said. He said Miesmer was found about 1.5 miles from where he left the car.

Wednesday's search covered the hills north of Lincoln Road between Interstate 15 and Hauser Dam Road, a rural area with hundreds of scattered year-round homes and seasonal cabins. Officers also searched 10 to 15 residences that went unchecked in the 40 to 50 door-to-door searches previously conducted because they were locked and nobody was home at the time, Dutton said.

After each home was searched, an officer was posted there, he said.

Miesmer was believed to be armed with a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun. Dutton said he is a military veteran but he declined to elaborate.

Miesmer was under investigation for drug trafficking, Cascade County Attorney John Parker said in court documents. The shooting victim was believed to be been involved in the sale of illegal drugs as well.

According to charging documents, the victim was shot once in the head and a .45-caliber casing, marijuana and other drug paraphernalia were found nearby.