Jan 222003
Authors: Patrick Crossland

Fort Collins Police arrested a suspect early Wednesday for the first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping of Lacy Miller.

Jason Clausen, 22, of Fort Collins, was taken into custody Tuesday evening without incident at 315 W. Oak, according to a release by Fort Collins Police Services,

Lacy Miller, a University of Northern Colorado sophomore, disappeared early Saturday morning. She was out with some friends the night of her disappearance and last seen when she dropped off a girlfriend at her apartment in Ram’s Village. Miller’s car was found parked two doors away from her parents’ home, with her personal belongings removed and doors locked.

According to police, Clausen is single and unemployed and had been a youth volunteer with the Fort Collins Police Explorer Scout program from March 1998 to November 1998. Participants of the program volunteer in activities such as traffic control, crime prevention projects and desk reception duties.

“I’ve never heard of him. It’s a total random thing,” said Mark Cohen, Miller’s stepfather.

Miller’s family members were notified of the arrest and new developments at approximately 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“We were told (Tuesday) night,” Cohen said. “Detectives came over with the victim’s advocate.”

Fort Collins police received a tip from a citizen that led police to the identification of the suspect connected to Miller’s disappearance.

CSU Police Captain Bob Chaffee said the CSU Police Department was asked to share information, though none was available and CSU officers were made aware of the situation.

Asked if the situation would likely cause concern in the campus community, Chaffee said situations like this often cause raised awareness.

“I think in any situation like this where someone is missing, there will be reactions,” Chaffee said.

Police are saying very little about the investigation as it is still in progress. However, police reported they have recovered some of Miller’s belongings, including her personal identification.

“They want to make sure the case is air-tight,” Cohen said. “They don’t want to do anything to spoil the integrity of the case.”

Miller’s body has not been found and because the case is still under investigation the affidavits have remained sealed.

“I think they’ve done a really good job,” Cohen said.

Clausen was scheduled to leave for military duties on Wednesday.

“This guy was going to get out of town today,” Cohen said. “We got him before he could leave.”

Family members continue to wait for any information connected to Miller’s disappearance.

“We really want to find Lacy,” Cohen said. “We want to find her body, we don’t have that yet.”

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