After many months of investigation, on Friday, July 18, Timothy McVay, 39, was arrested and charged with murdering Carrie Olson.
Olson was reported missing on December 30, 2013 when she didn't show up for work. Her body was found in April 2014 in a rural part of Minnesota.
Cati Smiddy, who says she is an ex-girlfriend of McVay, told News 8 that she started dating him right after he ended his relationship with Olson in January 2013. Smiddy said she and Olson were friends up until that point, but her new relationship with McVay created a falling out between Olson and herself.
Smiddy said McVay was a kind and gentle man until he started drinking alcohol, then he would become violent.
"He could go out and drink beer and be fine, but the minute he had any sort of hard alcohol he lost all self control over himself," Smiddy said. "He would scream, he would push, he would choke me up against the wall."
Smiddy said she dated McVay on and off for several months, even introducing him to her kids. The relationship continued until he "snapped" on her at her home one night in November.
"He had [drank] just a couple of screwdrivers, you know, vodka and orange juice. One minute he was fine and the next minute he just snapped," Smiddy said. "He started screaming and throwing orange juice and vodka and scaring everybody."
Smiddy said she called the police to detain him so she could get out of the house. That's when she left town, not coming back until after Olson disappeared.
Even though she had blocked him from her phone and Facebook account, Smiddy said McVay continued to email her. She said it wasn't until her friend emailed her about Olson's disappearance that she decided to respond.
"I started trying to talk to him and getting some information out of him," Smiddy said. "He said he was going to come back into town and help people find her and that he didn't have anything to do with her disappearance."
When Smiddy asked McVay why he had Olson's car, McVay told her that Olson had lent it to him, sparking even more suspicion.
"Carrie doesn't lend her car to anybody [and] she would never leave Colby, her dog. We all knew something was wrong," said Smiddy.
Smiddy said she was questioned by a Rock Island County Police detective in June. Smiddy said she gave the detective all the emails between her and McVay hoping it would help lead to his arrest.
"I always felt before that I had to look over my shoulder. I knew he was going to be angry when I gave them the g-mails, so I was always really nervous," Smiddy said. "I just felt relieved that I don't have to look over my shoulder anymore and I feel happy for her family, knowing that they'll get justice for Carrie."
McVay is currently being held in the Rock Island County Jail on a 1.5 million dollar bond.