Man arrested in slaying of Crescent City woman

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — An Arcata man has been arrested in the murder of a Crescent City woman whose body was found under Thomas Creek Bridge on Highway 101 in Curry County Wednesday.

Investigators took Josiah M. Miller, 27, into custody Thursday afternoon at his home in Arcata. Police had considered him a person of interest since Michelle Ashley Dickson, 23, of Crescent City, disappeared July 15.

Her Honda was found burning at 5:30 a.m. July 16 off Highway 101 near South Beach about a mile south of Crescent City, said Del Norte Sheriff's Department Cmdr. Bill Steven. Investigators determined that Dickson, who hadn't been seen since leaving work July 15 and didn't show up for her shift the next day, had planned to meet Miller to sell him 3 ounces of marijuana, valued at about $1,000. The two grew up together in Crescent City.

A search for her was launched, and investigators served warrants at Miller's home that day, seizing a computer, clothing and his 1989 Isuzu truck, which recently had been scrubbed and had pieces cut out of the seat.

Hikers discovered Dickson's body beneath the 345-foot-tall Thomas Creek Bridge at about 7 p.m. Wednesday. Oregon State Police worked on that scene, confirming Dickson's identity and determining that she apparently had been killed, Steven said.

Her autopsy is set for today in Central Point.

Steven said the California Department of Justice lab in Eureka is analyzing evidence from Miller's truck, including what tests have initially shown are bloodstains.

Miller was lodged in the Del Norte County Jail and is expected to appear in Del Norte Superior Court to face a murder charge Monday afternoon.

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