Marysville murder suspect: 'We killed someone'


by By ROB PIERCY / KING 5 News and

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 28 at 12:16 PM

MARYSVILLE, Wash. - Authorities say one of the men wanted in the murder of a 73-year-old Marysville woman told police they did it.

Twenty-two-year-old Ryan Miller and 25-year-old Joshua Gilliam were arrested last night, sleeping in the victim's car at a rest stop in Missouri.

According to court documents, a Missouri state trooper says Miller told him: "We did something we should not have done. We killed someone, an old lady. He hit her with a hammer seven or eight times. I hit her twice. We were on heroin."

The two claim they got rid of the hammer as they drove on Highway 2.

"I think it is safe to say they are suspects," said Commander Rob Lamoreux, of the Marysville Police Department. "We are going to actively seek murder warrants."

Marysville Police believe the two are responsible for the death of the 73-year-old widowed grandmother, found dead in her home on Monday. The two were taken into custody after leaving a trail by using the victim's credit cards.

"We had developed some information that the suspects had used the victims credit cards in Iowa and they were heading down a stretch of highway that lead into Missouri, so we asked Missouri State Police to be on the lookout," said Lamoureux.


Before that, a store surveillance camera spotted Gilliam and Miller at a Snohomish County store using the victim's credit cards.

Ryan Miller's mother, Sharyl, says her son is a drug addict and mentally ill. She says for 22 years she's tried to get him help.

Gilliam is believed to be the ex-boyfriend of the victim's granddaughter. He is a registered sex offender who also has prior convictions for assault and displaying a weapon.

Last September, a court granted a temporary order of protection and told him to stay away from the victim's granddaughter. In court documents, the woman believed to be the victim wrote: "I am afraid of him," and said Gilliam was making her granddaughter steal things and buy him drugs.

But because the grandmother never followed up with the court, the order of protection was dropped in October.

On Tuesday, investigators continued looking for clues in the victim's home. They also looked for the victim's car, spotted over the weekend in Butte, Montana.

Before that, a store surveillance camera spotted Gilliam and Miller at a Snohomish County store using the victim's credit cards.

Miller spent his formative years in and out of treatment. His mother says when he's on medication, he does alright.

"But when he's off of them, he's mean. He can be really mean," Sharyl said.

Does she think her son is capable of murder?

"I hate to say this, but yeah, honestly, because he says he's going to kill me," she said.