Man arrested in Phoenix deaths of 2 women in early 1990s

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Man arrested in Phoenix deaths of 2 women in early 1990s
This undated booking photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office shows Bryan Patrick Miller. Authorities say DNA evidence led to the arrest of Miller, 42,in the killings of two young women whose bodies were found in northwest Phoenix in the early 1990s. Police arrested Miller late Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 in killings of 22-year-old Angela Brosso and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas. His home was the subject of an overnight search. Brosso was killed in November 1992, and Bernas was killed in September 1993. Their remains were found in or near the Arizona canal. Both had disappeared while bicycling in the area. (AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
RT @abc15: DETAILS: @phoenixpolice make arrest in 1990s cold cases: http://t.co/c61goAHglb #abc15 http://t.co/1LtbTW7XuG #PhxPD
A picture of murder suspect Bryan Patrick Miller from a Facebook Page he allegedly maintained called "Arizona Zombie Hunter."
Phoenix Police Crime Response Unit members inspect the house of a man suspected of at least two 1992 murders of two young women on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 in Phoenix, Ariz. Police arrested 42-year-old Bryan Patrick Miller late Tuesday in the deaths of 22-year-old Angela Brosso and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas. Brosso was killed in November 1992, and Bernas was killed in September 1993. Their remains were found in or near the Arizona canal. Both had disappeared while bicycling in the area. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle)
Phoenix Police Crime Response Unit members inspect the house of a man suspected of at least two 1992 murders of two young women on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 in Phoenix, Ariz. Police arrested 42-year-old Bryan Patrick Miller late Tuesday in the deaths of 22-year-old Angela Brosso and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas. Brosso was killed in November 1992, and Bernas was killed in September 1993. Their remains were found in or near the Arizona canal. Both had disappeared while bicycling in the area. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle)
Phoenix Police Crime Response Unit members inspect the house of a man suspected of at least two 1992 murders of two young women on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 in Phoenix, Ariz. Police arrested 42-year-old Bryan Patrick Miller late Tuesday in the deaths of 22-year-old Angela Brosso and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas. Brosso was killed in November 1992, and Bernas was killed in September 1993. Their remains were found in or near the Arizona canal. Both had disappeared while bicycling in the area. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle)
Phoenix Police tape surrounds the home of Brian Patrick Miller, 42, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Phoenix. Miller was arrested on Tuesday as a suspect in the slaying of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas 20 years after the murders took place. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Phoenix Police investigators gather evidence at the home of Brian Patrick Miller, 42, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Phoenix. Miller was arrested on Tuesday as the suspect in the slaying of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas 20 years after the murders took place. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Police investigators gather evidence at the home of Brian Patrick Miller, 42, in Phoenix on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Based on DNA evidence, Miller was arrested on Tuesday as the suspect in the slaying of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas, two decades after the murders took place. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Phoenix Police tape surrounds the home of Brian Patrick Miller, 42, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Phoenix. Miller was arrested on Tuesday as a suspect in the slaying of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas 20 years after the murders took place. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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PHOENIX (AP) -- DNA evidence led to the arrest of a man in the 20-year-old killings of two young women who vanished 10 months apart on bike rides near Phoenix's canal system, authorities said Wednesday.

Police arrested Bryan Patrick Miller, 42, late Tuesday in the stabbing deaths of 22-year-old Angela Brosso and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas.

Brosso was killed in November 1992, and Bernas died in September 1993. Both disappeared while bicycling near the Arizona Canal. Brosso's decapitated body was found near an apartment complex, while Bernas' body was discovered about 1.5 miles away floating in the water.

The killings gripped area residents, particularly after Bernas' death, but the case faded from public attention as no arrest was made.

Forensic evidence connected the killings within years, but investigators couldn't identify a suspect. However, DNA evidence recently collected by undercover officers linked Miller to the killings, police said.

"Within literally hours we had a hit from those two murders, scientifically linking him by DNA, linking him to those two murders over 20 years ago," said Sgt. Trent Crump, a police spokesman.

Officers searched his rental home overnight, and the search was expected to continue for several days because the home was full of unspecified material. Details were not immediately available, and police did not immediately return a call.

Miller was being held without bond on two counts of first-degree murder and of kidnapping and one count of sexual assault.

Miller did not have a lawyer when he appeared in court Wednesday, but police said Miller during an interview denied any involvement in the killings.

"The defendant could not explain how the DNA profile obtained from the defendant was a match to the DNA profiles obtained from the victims," police said in a court document.

The document also said Miller acknowledged living in the vicinity of the killings at the time and said he rode his bike on bike paths in the area.

Police had said previously, before Miller's arrest, that the manner of the killings indicated the killer had specialized training in the military and that he collected "trophies" from the victims.

Neither victim's bicycle was found.

A bike was found in a shed in Miller's backyard but Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman, said it wasn't immediately clear if it belonged to either victim.

Police said they believed Miller moved to Washington state after the deaths but later returned to Arizona.

Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner said Phoenix police are working with authorities in Washington state to see if Miller's DNA could possibly be linked to other crimes.

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