Skip to main content

Prosecutors charged a 41-year-old Rochester man Thursday in connection with the death of a 28-year-old woman found dead under a tarp in rural Olmsted County in June. 

Tia M. Arleth was reported missing the week before her severely decomposed body was discovered by a person mowing grass in Haverhill Township on June 17.  

Timothy D. Loftus is accused of providing Arleth with the heroin and fentanyl that led to her death and subsequently transporting her body to the location it was later found. 

Prosecutors charged Loftus on Thursday with third-degree murder by selling, giving or distributing a controlled substance and one count of interference with a dead body in Olmsted County District Court. 

Timothy Loftus. Courtesy of Olmsted County Jail. 

Timothy Loftus. Courtesy of Olmsted County Jail. 

According to the criminal complaint, Arleth's mother told investigators she last saw her daughter after dropping her off at Loftus' home on May 29. 

Arleth had plans to camp that evening with a friend near Eyota. 

Investigators determined Arleth's phone arrived at Loftus' home at 5:20 p.m., before appearing to lose power the morning of May 31. 

A man who'd been at Loftus' home before Arleth arrived that day told police Loftus "disappeared" for several days after May 29, "making himself difficult to communicate with either in person for via phone," charges state. 

The man also told police he noticed later on the dolly cart Loftus used to move tires around his property was missing. 

When Arleth was found dead in the grass, her body was wrapped in a blue tarp and was secured with rope, a tie-down strap and duct tape, according to the criminal complaint. Investigators also noted a nearby dolly cart. 

According to charges, officers spoke to another witness who said Loftus had told him that he provided Arleth with the heroin and fentanyl that she died from using. 

Loftus allegedly told the man Arleth's body was located in a trailer near his house. The man told investigators he observed a blue tarp in the trailer. 

Charges state investigators reviewed doorbell camera footage from June 9 and saw a white trailer in front of Loftus' home. 

"Numerous items were piled into the trailer, including a blue tarp that is consistent with the tarp Arleth’s body was wrapped in," charges state. 

Loftus' vehicle is later seen hooked up to the trailer. Around an hour and a half later, the trailer is again in front of the home, but the tarp is gone. 

A search warrant for Loftus' cell phone data allegedly placed him at the scene where Arleth's body was found. 

According to charges, the medical examiner was unable to determine Arleth's cause of death due to the condition of her body. However, toxicology tests were positive for fentanyl and both a hypodermic needle and small plastic bag containing a pill were found on her body. 

During a press conference Thursday, Olmsted County Sheriff's Office Capt. James Schueller said investigators are continuing to ask anyone with additional information about Arleth's death to come forward. 

"I've been doing this job a long time and nothing prepares you for that type of scene that we came upon that night," he said, adding authorities hope the criminal charges bring some closure to Arleth's family. 

Arleth grew up in Rochester, attending both Elton Hills Elementary School and John Adams Middle School. Family members say she'd been trying to get clean from addiction in the time before her death. 

"Tia was taken way [too] soon in life, she was very loved by her family [and] friends and the world is a dimmer place without her [bright] shining face," her brother, Dustin Meirer, shared on GoFundMe

Loftus is expected to appear in court on the charges related to Arleth's death on Friday. He's been in custody since July on separate charges, according to authorities. 

Next Up


2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 6.44.11 PM

Lengthy standoff in Prior Lake ends late Friday night

The suspect allegedly assaulted an officer outside Kwik Trip, fled and broke into a home.

snow - 12-10-21 - Joe Nelson - 5

Accumulating snow possible in Twin Cities next week

The storm system could arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe.

Target store snow

With Black Friday barely underway, Target reveals Cyber Monday deals

Plans for the two-day sale were revealed Friday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.37.25 AM

Man waves replica assault weapon at drivers in downtown Minneapolis

The alarming incident was spotted by the new MPD chief, Brian O'Hara.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.29.58 AM

Extremely drunk driver arrested in Chaska

The driver was more than four times the legal limit.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 8.21.21 AM

Stillwater police looking for suspect who stole vehicle with 1-year-old inside

The suspect abandoned the vehicle with the child still inside just 5 minutes after the theft.

Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 5.01.34 PM

Suspected Bloomington restaurant killer arrested in Oklahoma

The 47-year-old Texas man was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Screen Shot 2022-11-24 at 9.16.39 AM

Minnetonka woman, 23, ID'd as victim killed in Minneapolis crash

The fatal crash happened near the Minneapolis Convention Center on Nov. 21.


More than 100 geese, ducks found dead on partially frozen MN lake

The discovery was made in Waseca at the weekend.


After losing sponsor, advocates fear Minneapolis' Nice Ride could shut down

They are calling on the city to provide financial support till a new sponsor is found.


police lights

Body found under tarp in rural Olmsted County

The deceased woman had been reported missing earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-04 at 7.07.38 PM

Police investigating after girl beaten outside Stewartville High School

The victim told investigators she'd been harassed by a group of girls since last year.

police tape

Man charged with murder in 28-year-old woman's overdose death

Cordaro Demario Ware, 32, had a warrant for his arrest issued in April and was arrested on Tuesday.


Sheriff: Men found unresponsive in garage died of cocaine overdose

Two of the three men found unresponsive in an Eyota garage last week died of a drug overdose, a preliminary autopsy found.


Minnesota man found dead in South Dakota hiking area

The missing man's body was found within the Stratobowl hiking area.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

Overdose spike in Hennepin County leaves 6 dead within a week

Authorities are continuing to heighten awareness surrounding the risks of opioids.