Linked through forensic DNA evidence to the 1972 rape and murder of 20-year-old Jody Loomis, Terrence Miller, 77, posted bond and was released on Friday, June 14, from the Snohomish County jail. Charged with first-degree murder, he has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Miller was arrested in April at his home in the 15900 block of 52nd Avenue West, which has an Edmonds post office address but is located in unincorporated Snohomish County.
Investigations conducted in the wake of the 47-year-old crime were inconclusive and the case remained unsolved. Evidence included a semen sample collected from the victim, which has remained in storage in the police crime labs.
The case remained cold for decades, but recent advances in forensic DNA technology prompted a new look at the evidence.
By comparing the DNA sample collected at the crime scene with current DNA databases and existing vital statistics, genealogists were able to construct a family tree that identified near matches to the sample, all close relatives of Miller.
This prompted investigators to take a closer look at Miller. The break in the case came last year when detectives followed him to a casino and retrieved a coffee cup he had just discarded. They brought the cup back to the lab, where DNA residue provided an exact match to the 4-decade-old sample from the Jody Loomis case.
Since his arrest in April, Miller has been held in the Snohomish County jail in lieu of $1 million bond. This amount was reduced to $750,000 in May.
Miller’s release is conditioned on electronic home monitoring, which includes daily email reports to the prosecutor and defense counsel detailing outings and any non-compliance. He is required to remain in his home “under house arrest” except for pre-approved necessary outings including grocery shopping, medical and legal appointments. Additionally, he must surrender his passport, all weapons, check in weekly with his defense counsel, and have no contact with the Loomis family or state witnesses except through counsel.
His trial, originally scheduled for July, is set to begin on Oct. 11.