DNA on cigarette butt IDs Warren County theft suspect

A Warren County man was indicted today on a felony theft charge after DNA from a cigarette butt pointed to him.

The cigarette butt, sent to the the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), “revealed an investigative lead with a preliminary association from the evidence to Ethan Miller,” according to an affidavit filed in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Ethan T. Miller, 33, of Franklin Twp., was arrested on Feb. 15 and remained in the jail on Monday, without bond.

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Miller is already scheduled for sentencing on charges of tampering with evidence, aggravated possession of drugs and obstructing official business.

The new case was bound over from Franklin Municipal Court on March 7.

The new theft charge, a fifth-degree felony, was filed today in the common pleas court.

The search warrant indicates the charge stems from theft of a utility trailer from the owner’s driveway in Franklin Twp. reported on Jan. 7. The cigarette butt was found near the crime scene, according to the warrant.

Miller was interviewed on Feb. 15 about the trailer theft, Detective Mark Purdy said in the search warrant affidavit.

“Ethan admitted the reason he stole the trailer is because he is addicted to heroin,” Purdy said in the affidavit.

Miller directed Purdy to “a high-school acquaintance.”

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The trailer could not be recovered because Miller’s acquaintance “had already sold it via craigslist to an unidentified buyer in Kentucky,” Purdy wrote in the affidavit.

Miller refused Purdy’s request for a swab to use in checking for DNA, prompting the detective to obtain the warrant from Judge Robert Peeler, according to court records.

Miller is to be arraigned, via a video link, from the county jail on Wednesday.

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