Suspect in 20-year-old killings avoided possible capture

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Suspect in 20-year-old killings avoided possible capture
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) - Before his arrest this week in the early 1990s killings of two women in Phoenix, Bryan Patrick Miller eluded possible capture nearly 13 years ago in Washington state.

Melissa Ruiz-Ramirez was out walking in Everett, Washington, on May 23, 2002, when she accepted a ride from a man she recognized from a friend's apartment complex. In the car, they talked about how some of the trails and pathways near that complex were dangerous. The man then took her to his work and stabbed her in the back with a 12-inch serrated knife.

Miller was arrested in the attack but acquitted after saying the woman tried to rob him. He moved back to Arizona shortly afterward and quietly resumed his life before being arrested this week.

The encounter shows how Miller, 42, avoided capture over the years. In high school, he randomly stabbed a woman at a Phoenix mall but only served time until age 18, Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said. The Washington state case didn't require him to submit a DNA sample because he was exonerated.

DNA evidence recently collected by undercover officers now ties the divorced father to the slayings of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas, police said.

Brosso, 22, was killed in November 1992, and Bernas, 17, 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 1½ miles away floating in the water.

Investigators were combing through Miller's Phoenix home Thursday and will likely be there for several days. So far, there is no evidence that Miller knew either victim, Crump said. A bike was found in a shed in Miller's backyard, but Crump said it wasn't immediately clear if it belonged to either victim.

Miller is being held on two counts of first-degree murder and kidnapping and one count of sexual assault. He appeared in court Wednesday without an attorney. According to police, he denied any involvement in the killings during a police interview. He acknowledged living in the vicinity at the time of the murders and that he rode his bike on the bike paths.

Jason Brosius, who worked with Miller at the time of his assault arrest in Washington, said he never saw Miller exhibit any strange behavior.

"He was kind of a quiet person, but he wasn't anymore quiet than anybody else," said Brosius, who still works at the same company, a provider of truck accessories. "He didn't show any crazy, weird flags to me. He seemed pretty square."

Brosius recalled how Miller moved right after his acquittal without saying much to anyone.

"He came back here, collected his personal stuff and that was the last anybody saw of him," Brosius said. "He said he was going back to Arizona, and that was it."

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Associated Press writer Doug Esser in Seattle contributed to this report.

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