It will likely take months for investigators to try to link Bryan Patrick Miller to other crimes.
Miller was arrested by Phoenix police this week in the cold-case murders of two women, 22-year-old Angela Brosso and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas, who were found in and around the Arizona Canal in 1992 and 1993, respectively.
Despite plenty of speculation of what else Miller may have done, Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump tells New Times that homicide investigators have not even begun trying to make any other connections at this point.
"Our primary focus right now is [Miller's] home," Crump says, where police have been serving a search warrant in what the department's described as a hoarding situation.
This search will still take several more days, as investigators decide what to take into evidence. Meanwhile, Miller is being held in jail without bond on charges including first-degree murder and sexual assault.
Both women had gone on bike rides near the canal, and neither returned. Brosso's body was found in a field in November 1992, and her had was found floating in the canal more than a week later. In September 1993, Bernas' body was found in the canal with stab wounds.
Miller recently came on detectives' radar in the case, and an undercover officer obtained a DNA sample of Miller's last week, which police say tie him to the crimes.
A retired police source told us it's extremely likely that someone involved in decapitation murders would have a much longer criminal history, so there will be plenty for Phoenix PD to look for.
Already, police have revealed that Miller was convicted of aggravated assault as a juvenile for stabbing a woman near the Paradise Valley Mall in 1989.
It's also been reported that Miller, who also lived in Washington and Hawaii, was acquitted of charges related to stabbing a woman in Washington in 2002.
Again, police haven't even started the task of trying to link Miller to any other crimes. Police tell us that Miller's DNA hasn't been entered into the FBI database at this point, as detectives comb the house for evidence.
Looking into similarities with older crimes will be difficult for several reasons. For one, there are at least three different states that Phoenix investigators will be looking into. Also, Crump confirmed a concern that Phoenix PD's current information-management system is not exactly state-of-the-art, which could make it very difficult for investigators to sift through old cases for similarities.
Police undoubtedly will look at the case of Adrienne Salinas, the Tempe teenager whose partial remains were found in a wash in Apache Junction in 2013. Although the autopsy report was partially redacted, it seemed that her head was not among the remains recovered at the scene.
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Although Phoenix's homicide investigators haven't started looking at possible connections, Crump tells us, "Everything is probably on the table," in regards to looking at previous crimes.
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