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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man has been charged in connection with the death of a Rochester woman whose body was found this past summer at a remote site on a farm east of Rochester.

A criminal complaint filed in Olmsted County Court charges 41-year-old Timothy Loftus with third-degree murder and interference with a dead body or scene of death. At the time the charges were announced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Loftus was being held in the Olmsted County Jail on unrelated charges. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the murder count and the other felony charge Thursday morning.

Olmsted County Sheriff's Captain James Schueller photo by TJ Leverentz TSM Rochester)
Olmsted County Sheriff's Captain James Schueller photo by TJ Leverentz TSM Rochester)
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The criminal complaint alleges he provided 28-year-old Tia Arlerth with the controlled substances, likely fentanyl, and heroin, that led to her death from a drug overdose. The young woman's body was discovered on June 17th by a property owner who spotted a blue tarp in a field and went to investigate. The court document indicates a hypodermic needle and a small plastic bag containing a pill were located on the badly decomposed remains.

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Arleth was last seen alive on May 29th and was reported missing by her mother on June 12th. The charges say investigators learned she had been dropped off at Loftus's home on May 29th and a review of cell phone records indicated her phone remained at his residence until it apparently lost power on May 31st. The criminal complaint says a witness also told investigators that Loftus had confided in him that Arleth had died after he had provided her with heroin and fentanyl. The witness also indicated that Loftus told him the woman's body was in a trailer outside his residence.

Investigators obtained videos recorded by a doorbell camera in the area and from local public buses that showed the trailer with a blue tarp inside hooked up to Loftus's vehicle on June 9th. The trailer was gone for about 90 minutes and the blue tarp was no longer in it after it was returned to the property.

Loftus complaint/ Olmsted County Court
Loftus complaint/ Olmsted County Court
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The court record also says investigators obtained location data associated with Loftus' cell phone, which indicated he traveled to the location where the woman's body was found and stopped there for approximately 10 minutes on the morning of June 9th. A green two-wheeled dolly was also found near where Arleth's body was discovered and another witness told investigators that he noticed the dolly was missing when he visited Loftus's home in mid-June.

Court records show Loftus has a criminal history that dates back to 2000 when he was convicted of tampering with a motor vehicle. Most of his other convictions involve alcohol-related traffic offenses including a felony DWI conviction in 2007.

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