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Friday, December 9, 2022

Man sold drugs to woman whose body was found dumped near Rochester in June

A Rochester man was accused in the overdose death of a 28-year-old woman whose corpse was discovered in rural Olmsted County last July.

Timothy Daniel Loftus, 41, is charged with felony third-degree murder and criminal concealment of a corpse in relation to the sale of controlled narcotics to Tia Mercedes Arleth.

Arleth was discovered on June 17 in a field in northern Olmsted County wrapped in a tarp tied with rope, a tie-down strap, and duct tape.

She was reported missing on June 12, and her last known whereabouts was around the end of May. Loftus is suspected of giving heroin and fentanyl to Arleth, causing her death, and then concealing her corpse when she passed away.

Last week, Capt. James Schueller of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office sent his continued sympathies to Ms. Arleth’s family and friends. “Their pain has been compounded by the time they’ve spent since the catastrophe wondering why Tia was stolen from them and who was to blame.” While the identification of Tim Loftus as a suspect and the filing of criminal charges may not alleviate their grief over Tia’s death, we do hope that this will be the first step toward bringing them closure.

Loftus has been detained at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center since July 15 for many unconnected offences.

During a press conference, Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem said, “This is a very, very difficult case.” “We think we can establish that Mr. Loftus supplied the chemicals, most likely fentanyl, that caused Ms. Arleth’s death.”

He said that the prosecution must show a hand-to-hand exchange in order to convict Loftus of murder.

Ostrem said, “We’ve had a number of painful talks about what we need to do in this situation.”

According to the criminal complaint, an autopsy indicated that Arleth’s cause of death was unknown due to her poorly decayed corpse.

According to the lawsuit, “however, the autopsy found no obvious fractures or gunshot wounds, and postmortem toxicology testing indicated the presence of fentanyl in Arleth’s system.”

The last time Arleth’s mother had touch with her daughter was on May 29, when she brought her to Loftus’ Rochester residence.

A witness informed detectives that Loftus vanished for many days after May 29 and recognized a dolly cart recovered near the location where Arleth’s corpse was found as belonging to Loftus.

According to the criminal complaint, law officials discovered duct tape and rope in Loftus’ garage that matched those found on Arleth’s corpse.

According to the criminal complaint, another witness informed law enforcement that he visited Loftus’ apartment on June 9 and that Loftus told him that he supplied heroin and fentanyl to Arleth, and that she died as a consequence of swallowing these chemicals. Loftus further said that Arleth’s corpse was discovered in a trailer close to his apartment. The witness saw that the trailer included a blue tarp.

According to the criminal complaint, footage from a doorbell video shows Loftus’ truck attaching to a trailer with a blue tarp on June 9 and then departing. After about 90 minutes, the trailer is re-observed in front of Loftus’ residence sans the blue tarp.

The criminal complaint claims that Loftus’ cellphone data from June 9 indicate he went from Rochester to the spot where Arleth’s corpse was discovered and was there for about nine to ten minutes.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension aided in the processing and collecting of evidence at the crime site.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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