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Edmonds suspect in 1972 murder commits suicide hours before conviction

By Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff

Edmonds, Wash. – The man accused of killing a 20-year-old woman in 1972 was found dead in his home, killing himself right before a jury convicted him of murder. 

Terrence Miller, 78, who was on trial for the 1972 murder of 20-year-old Jody Loomis, was found dead in his home on the morning of Monday, November 9, by a family member. Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to the scene just before 10 a.m.

Miller had committed suicide, ruled the Snohomish County Medical Examiner on Tuesday, November 10. 

That Monday afternoon, about three hours after the suicide, an Everett jury determined Miller was guilty of first-degree murder for the death of Loomis after a two-week trial, according to the Snohomish County Superior Court clerk’s officeThe jurors were unaware of Miller’s assumed death until after the delivered verdict. 

On August 23, 1972, Loomis left her Bothell home, riding her bike towards a stable to ride her horse. That evening, a couple found her alive but disrobed and shot in the head in a heavily wooded area near what is now Mill Creek Road, east of the intersection of Bothell-Everett Highway and 164th St. SW, the Sheriff’s Office said. They transported her to Stevens Memorial Hospital in Edmonds where she was pronounced dead.  

Snohomish County Sheriff’s investigators sought justice for Loomis for more than 46 years, eventually catching a lead using genetic genealogycross-checking DNA evidence — semen found on the bottom of a hiking boot worn by Loomis at the time of the crime — with ancestry records, connecting Miller to the cold case.

Undercover detectives then silently monitored Miller until they were able to retrieve a sample of his DNA from a coffee cup he discarded in the garbage at the Tulalip Resort Casino. It came back as a match to the semen found on the boot.  

Miller was then arrested on April 11, 2019, charged with first-degree premeditated murder. Posting the $1 million bail, Miller was under house arrest in his Edmonds home before and throughout his trial. He lived about five miles from where Loomis was found. 

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