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Idaho man pleads guilty to 1992 Washington murder, after the DNA from the cigarette butt led to arrest

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An Idaho man pleaded guilty on Friday to a cold case killing from 1992 in the state of Washington, after he was arrested on the basis of evidence recovered from a cigarette butt, which connected him with other unsolved murder.

Lee Miller, 54, admitted to killing 57-year-old Marilyn Hickey, a former friend of his in Bremerton (Washington), KOMO-TV reported.

Miller was arrested in January after detectives DNA evidence that was first discovered during an investigation of the 1994 murder of 49-year-old Cheryle Barratt in Idaho.

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Hickey’s body was found in her apartment in 1992. The 57-year-old appeared to have been strangled and was stabbed in her chest with a pair of scissors.

Lee Robert Miller, 54, pleaded guilty Friday to the killing of the 57-year-old Marilyn Hickey in 1992. He will soon go to Idaho to plead guilt to a different kill in 1994.
(Ada County Sheriff’s Office)

Documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman, said Hickey was believed to have been stabbed post-mortem.

Semen was found at the scene, but officials were not able to match it at the time. The case eventually went cold until 2006, when DNA found on the Barratt murder ended matching unknown DNA of the Hickey killing, according to the Statesman.

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After the Boise Police Violent Crimes Unit and detectives from the Bremerton Police Department in comparison to nuts, researchers worked to identify Miller as a defendant.

When Miller threw a cigarette, the officials were able to provide a DNA sample that ultimately matched.

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Miller, who has not revealed a motive for the killing, will next head to Idaho to plead guilty for the Barratt murder. He is expected on time in the Idaho prison system, as part of a plea agreement, so he is near his family, KOMO reported.

Fox News’ Elizabeth Llorente contributed to this report.

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