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Man arrested for allegedly strangling Vernal man


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VERNAL — Detectives have arrested a suspect in the July 2013 strangulation and beating death of a Vernal man whose body was found in his apartment.

Christopher Codi Andersen, 29, was booked Tuesday in the Uintah County Jail for investigation of murder. He was linked to the death of Christopher Alan Miller by evidence collected during the past 10 months and from the victim's apartment, according to Vernal Assistant Police Chief Keith Campbell.

"The initial investigation took several days to process the crime scene and establish the facts to that point," Campbell said. "Since then we've been working on crime lab results, DNA and forensic evidence. We've done that in phases, and our final results were returned late last week."

Officers responding to a July 6 report of a burglary at the Pheasant Glen Apartments, 1350 W. 100 North, found Miller on the floor in the living room of his apartment.

Miller, 52, had been sharing his apartment with Andersen, whom he'd worked with for six days at the time of his death, Campbell said. It was a temporary arrangement, and Andersen planned to move out after he received his first paycheck and could afford a place of his own.

"Due to some conflict, a physical altercation occurred," Campbell said. "During that altercation, Chris Miller was killed."

The assistant chief declined to discuss what the men were arguing about.

Andersen was identified early on as a "person of interest" in Miller's death, Campbell said. Keeping track of him for the past 10 months was relatively easy, according to investigators, because Andersen is required to register with law enforcement due to a 2003 conviction for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Court records show, however, that Andersen was convicted twice last November of failing to register as a sex offender. He also pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of obstructing justice, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

As a result of those convictions, Andersen served more than four months in jail and was placed under the supervision of Adult Probation & Parole. "We kept close tabs on his location while waiting for the results from the crime lab," Campbell said.

Andersen was arrested at work without incident, Campbell said. He is being held without bail. A date for his first court appearance has not been set.

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Geoff Liesik

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