66-year-old arrested in connection with 1984 Minneapolis murder

DNA leads to arrest in 39-year-old cold case

DNA leads to arrest in 39-year-old cold case

A 66-year-old has been arrested in connection with the murder of Robert A. Miller 39 years ago in south Minneapolis.

Matthew Russell Brown of Angleside, Illinois, has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary, according to court records.

Officers responded to multiple 911 calls from an apartment on Girard Avenue South around 2:30 a.m. on July 19, 1984, according to a criminal complaint. When they got to the scene, two women ran out of the apartment — one had a bleeding cut on her face and the other was unharmed but extremely distraught.

The women told police that a man had broken into the apartment and attacked them with a knife.

Inside the apartment, officers found the body of Miller on the floor in a pool of blood. An autopsy determined that he died from numerous stab wounds to his face, head, chest, back and shoulders, the criminal complaint states.

Investigators saw that the apartment’s kitchen door, which led to a back exit, was open, and determined that this was likely how the suspect escaped. They also found blood that they believed came from the suspect, according to the complaint.

DNA analysis has improved greatly since the murder. During the past eight years, MPD investigators on the FBI’s Cold Case Task Force worked with the BCA Forensics Lab to identify DNA found at the scene. This led to Brown being identified as a suspect, police said.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators obtained a plastic cup that Brown had used in March of this year. The DNA on the cup matched the suspect’s blood left at the crime scene.

FBI agents and Minneapolis homicide investigators interviewed Brown, who was living in Illinois at the time, in early June. He was arrested on his warrant in Illinois until he could be extradited to Minnesota, police said.

Brown was charged a few weeks later in connection with the murder.

“Even though this week marks 39 years since the crime occurred, perseverance and collaboration brought a resolution to this unsolved crime,” Minneapolis Police Department wrote on its Facebook page. “This allows MPD’s homicide investigators to move on to the next one.”