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Accused killer made victim's truck a two-tone

The man charged with murdering a Mills River man last week turned the victim's silver SUV into a two-tone silver-and-black two-tone while he was on the run from the law, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

At some point in Phillip Michael Stroupe II’s run from hundreds of law officers, Thomas Bryson’s 2007 silver Honda Ridgeline was painted with black spray paint on the bottom half of the vehicle. Investigators continued to ask witnesses to come forward if they had seen the vehicle and urged businesses in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina to review any surveillance footage for images of the altered Honda. Investigators asked the public to call the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 697-4911 with any relevant information.

The body of Mr. Bryson was located on the evening of July 30 in Buncombe County.

Charged with kidnapping, first-degree murder and other felonies, Stroupe remains in the Henderson County jail without bond.