Rochester Murder Suspect Makes First Court Appearance
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- The Rochester man accused of selling the drugs that led to the overdose death of Tia Arleth made his first appearance in Olmsted County Court Friday morning.
Bail for 41-year-old Timothy Loftus was set at $500,000. He’s charged with 3rd-degree murder and Interference with a dead body.
The criminal complaint alleges Loftus provided Arleth 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 her arm sticking out of a blue tarp in a field he was mowing.
A hypodermic needle and a small plastic bag containing a pill were located on the badly decomposed remains, according to the complaint. Arleth was last seen alive on May 29th and was reported missing by her mother on June 12th.
The charges say investigators learned Arleth 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 and that Loftus told him the woman's body was in a trailer outside his residence.
Doorbell and bus camera footage in the area 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, the complaint states.
The court record also says investigators obtained location data associated with Loftus' cell phone, which indicated he traveled to the location where Arleth'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.
If you or someone you know if struggling with drug and/or alcohol dependence, help is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-622-HELP (1-800-622-4357) or send a text message to 1-800-487-4889.
Court records show Loftus has a criminal history that dates back to 2000 when he was convicted of tampering with a motor vehicle. His next court appearance is scheduled for November 17.