Investigators made a breakthrough in a 1972 rape and homicide cold case and identified a suspect after linking DNA from a coffee cup to evidence recovered from the crime scene.
Police said they arrested 77-year-oldTerrence Miller at his home in Snohomish County, Washington, Wednesday morning on charges of 1st degree premeditated murder of 20-year-old Jody Loomis. Her disrobed body was found nearly 50 years ago in the woods near the suspect's home.
Investigators believe Loomis was riding her bike at the time of the attack. She was discovered with a bullet wound to the head.
Through genetic genealogy, the same technique used to make an arrest in California's "Golden State Killer" case last year, detectives were able to identify Miller as a suspect .
Snohomish County Investigations Capt. Rob Palmer explained that they matched DNA collected from a discarded coffee cup to semen collected from Loomis’ boots, The Seattle Times noted.
A digital file containing DNA genotype data was uploaded to a public genetic genealogy website, which identified several promising matches related to the suspect, but the DNA sample from the cup linked it all together.
"After more than 46 years of searching for her killer, we finally have some answers for Jody’s family," said Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary. "Thanks to the relentless persistence of our cold case team and new DNA technology, we are one step closer to justice for Jody."
Miller is being held in the Snohomish County jail on $1 million bail. According to Fox News, he has been accused of multiple sex crimes stemming back to the 1960s.
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