BREMERTON (Kitsap Sun) — On Wednesday, Bremerton police arrested a suspect in the November 2015 homicide of 87-year-old Floyd Zumwalt.
Craig W. Miller, 45, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder at about 3 p.m., police Detective Marty Garland said.
Zumwalt was beaten to death in his East Bremerton home, a six-unit complex at Lebo Boulevard and Oak Street. He was well-known to his neighbors for sharing a friendly word with passers-by.
Zumwalt's granddaughter said justice is being served and thanked detectives for their work and listening to them.
Garland said he could not comment on what investigators believe was the motive but said Miller had been a person of interest since Zumwalt’s death.
Garland said he and the other primary detective built the case on physical evidence along with statements from witnesses and neighbors.
“It’s nice to finally have some resolution on this case,” Garland said. “We have been working hard on it for a long time, and we finally got to the place where we have done everything we can do.”
Garland added that Zumwalt's family was notified after the arrest. "That's always the most rewarding part of the job," he said.
Heather Carlson, Zumwalt's granddaughter, said Zumwalt was generous and loving, and always had candy at the ready for young ones.
"He was incredibly trusting and didn't believe in locking his door just in case someone in the family needed anything or a place to go," she wrote in a message to the Kitsap Sun. "All in all, he was a wonderful man who loved everyone as family and who is loved in return by all the lives he touched throughout his 87 years."
Carlson said that her mother had suspected Miller and that Miller had taken advantage of Zumwalt.
The arrest "means everything to me because grandpa thought Craig was his friend," Carlson wrote. He "welcomed him in and even shared beer and food with him."
Garland said prosecutors have been working with investigators for weeks.