Boise Police: Man arrested for Washington homicide also a suspect in Boise cold case murder

Posted at 2:56 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 00:50:14-05

An investigation that has spanned more than twenty years has resulted in the arrest of a Boise man in connection with the murder of a woman in Washington. Police say he is now also a suspect in the 1994 unsolved killing of a Boise woman.

Over the last year, detectives with the Boise Police Violent Crimes Unit have been working with detectives from the Bremerton Police Department in Bremerton, Washington, in the investigation of two homicides. One homicide happened in 1992 in Bremerton and one happened in 1994 in Boise.

The years-long investigation resulted in the arrest of 54-year-old Lee R. Miller Wednesday night. Authorities say Miller was arrested in Boise on a warrant out of Kitsap County, Washington, and charged with murder in the second degree for the death of Bremerton resident Marilyn Hickey, who died in 1992.

Authorities say Miller is also a suspect in the death of 49-year-old Boise resident Cheryle Barratt. In April, 1994, Barratt’s body was found in an apartment on North 6th Street. Her throat was slit, according to reports.

Miller is currently being held in the Ada County Jail and will be extradited to Washington. A BPD news release says, “The timing of the extradition will be handled by the appropriate courts.”

“This is a significant achievement for both the Boise Police Department and the Bremerton Police Department -- as we were able to use advancements in technology and coordinated investigative efforts to make strides in two decades-long investigations,” said Boise Police Sgt. Justin Kendall. “Our detectives have worked for years to make progress on these investigations -- to help find answers for our community and justice for the victims.”

On Wednesday, detectives from the Bremerton Police Department came to Boise and arrested Miller. The case was re-opened late in 2017 and has been worked as a cold case since then.

On September 10, 1992, the Bremerton Police Department received a call asking officers to conduct a welfare check at an apartment in the 400 block of Chester Avenue. Officers found Marilyn Hickey dead in her apartment. “The investigation showed Marilyn met her death by homicidal means. Evidentiary items were collected at the scene however after many active months, there were no arrests, and the case went cold,” according to a news release from the Bremerton Police Department.

In 2006, the case was opened and several pieces of evidence were sent to the state crime lab. The WSP Crime Laboratory was able to obtain a complete DNA profile and entered the profile into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). A check of CODIS did not return any person matches, however, the DNA did match the DNA in the other unsolved homicide case in Boise.

Detectives from the Bremerton Police Department worked with detectives from the Boise Police Department to identify Miller as the suspect with the matching DNA. Boise detectives were able to obtain a DNA sample from Miller and submitted it to the Idaho State Crime Lab. Further analysis confirmed the DNA from Miller matched the profiles from both unsolved homicides.