(Ada County Sheriff's Office)

Arrest made in 26-year cold-case murder investigation that spanned two states

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Lee Robert Miller was arrested on second-degree murder charges in the death of 57-year-old Bremerton woman Marilyn Hickey.

Police discovered Hickey’s body on Sept. 10, 1992, after they were called to do a welfare check at an apartment in the 400 block of Chester Avenue in Bremerton. She had been strangled.

The Kitsap Sun reports that Hickey had last been seen the night before, when she left the Drift Inn Tavern with a man fitting Miller’s description, court documents said.

Evidence was collected at the scene, but after many months of investigation, no one was arrested, and the case went cold.

The case was reopened and several pieces of evidence were sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, where a DNA profile was made. No person came up as a match to the DNA, but the profile matched DNA in another unsolved murder in Boise from 1994.

Charging documents show Miller’s name had come up during both murder investigations, according to the Sun.

Bremerton detectives worked with those from the Boise Police Department to try to identify Miller as the suspect with the matching DNA. Boise detectives followed Miller and were able to pick up a cigarette butt discarded by him, which held some of his DNA, according to the Sun.

Analysis of Miller’s DNA showed it matched DNA profiles from both unsolved murders.

An arrest warrant was obtained, and Miller, 54, was taken into custody Wednesday. He is currently in the Ada County Jail in Idaho and will be brought back to Washington at some point to face murder charges.

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