A 77-year-old Edmonds-area resident was arrested Wednesday as a suspect in the 1972 cold case murder of 20-year-old Bothell resident Jody Loomis, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday morning.
Terrence Miller, who was identified as a suspect through genetic genealogy, was arrested at his home Wednesday around 10:30 a.m. without incident, the sheriff’s office said. He has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder and is being held in the Snohomish County jail on $1 million bail. He is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Monday. Detectives believe Miller was living in the Edmonds area at the time of the murder, approximately five miles from where Loomis’ body was found.
Loomis’ body was discovered on Aug. 23, 1972 in what was then a heavily wooded area near what is now Mill Creek Road, east of the intersection of Bothell-Everett Hwy and 164th Street Southwest.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Loomis intended to ride her bicycle from her residence at 20 Winesap Rd in Bothell to a stable on Strumme Rd to ride her horse. She rode north on North Rd to 164th Street Southeast and east toward the Bothell-Everett Highway. She was last seen crossing the highway and riding up the hill on what was then called Penny Creek Rd (now Mill Creek Road) at 5 p.m. At approximately 5:30 p.m., two people found the victim disrobed and shot in the head in the woods. They transported her to Stevens Memorial Hospital(now Swedish Edmonds), where she was pronounced dead.
“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.”
Genetic genealogy is the use of DNA testing in combination with traditional genealogical methods to establish the relationship between an individual and their ancestors. This is the second arrest in a Snohomish County cold homicide case using results from genetic genealogy.
Successful identification of Miller was established with assistance from Parabon NanoLabs and genetic genealogist Deb Stone. A digital file containing DNA genotype data gathered from evidence collected from the victim was uploaded to GEDmatch, a public genetic genealogy website. Several promising matches were found for a few of the suspect’s relatives (see family tree). After the genealogist identified parents of possible suspects based on the family tree, police narrowed their focus to Miller as a likely suspect. Detectives followed him to a local casino, where they observed the suspect discard a coffee cup. They retrieved the cup and sent it to the Washington State Patrol’s crime lab, which confirmed that it positively matched the DNA profile from the crime scene evidence.
Detectives continue to gather and process evidence and interview witnesses related to the investigation of Loomis’ murder and are asking for people to come forward with information, specifically anyone who knows of firearms that Miller owned in 1972, where he worked, what vehicles he drove then and if he was ever in possession of a bridle for a horse.
If you or anyone you know has information related to this case or suspect, call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 425-388-3845.