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November 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Longtime suspect charged in 2 Snohomish County homicides from 1995

Danny Ross Giles. (Credit: Washington Department of Corrections)

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives today arrested a resident of the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island in connection with the slaying of one woman and the disappearance and presumed death of another in 1995.

Danny Ross Giles, 44, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon in connection with the 17-year-old homicides, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Giles has long been a suspect in both cases.

Giles has been in and out of prison over many years. Court records show convictions in Snohomish County that include second-degree rape and burglary in 1987, as well as criminal trespassing, possession of stolen property and indecent exposure.  He was also convicted of indecent exposure with sexual motivation in King County in 2006, records show.

He was at the Special Commitment Center awaiting trial to determine whether he would be indefinitely committed.

Giles was accused of the disappearance of Tracey Brazzel, a Lynnwood hairstylist, and the killing of Patti Berry after investigators found that DNA in the cars of both women matched Giles’ DNA, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Brazzel was last seen May 26, 1995, at Kodiak Ron’s Pub in Everett. Her car was later found near her apartment complex in the 4500 block of 164th Street Southwest near Lynnwood.

The car’s passenger-side window was broken out and a small spot of blood was found on one of the vehicle’s doors. Detectives have long believed the 22-year-old was killed.

Berry, 26, was last seen leaving her workplace, Honey’s Adult Entertainment Club — which used to be on Highway 99 near Lynnwood — around 1:30 a.m. on July 30, 1995. She planned to stop on her way home to fill a low tire with air.

Her car was found two days later behind a convenience store in the 400 block of 128th Street Southwest in South Everett. The driver’s window was rolled down and a “great deal of blood” was found inside and outside the car, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Berry’s body was discovered a week later, on Aug. 8, 1995, in a wooded area in the 1500 block of 100th Street Southeast, south of the Everett Mall. She died after being stabbed several times.

In May 2004, the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab determined that a mixture of Berry’s DNA and DNA belonging to an unknown man was found in her vehicle.

The unknown male DNA was entered into the Combined DNA Index System, known as CODIS, which is a national database of DNA profiles.

In August 2008, detectives learned the male DNA found in Berry’s car had been matched to Giles, a registered sex offender who lived in the Lynnwood area at the time of Berry’s slaying and Brazzel’s disappearance.

Then, in March 2010, the state crime lab reported another CODIS “hit,” this time from the blood found in Brazzel’s vehicle. It, too, came back as a match to Giles, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: cold cases, slaying, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office


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