He's Found Many Bodies. His No. 1 Case Is His Dead Girl

The 'Guardian' looks at the murder that has defined Tim Miller's life
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2018 2:08 PM CDT
Updated Jun 17, 2018 2:00 PM CDT
He's Found Many Bodies. His No. 1 Case Is His Dead Girl
Tim Miller, left, comforts a mother during a news conference March 6, 2015, in Baytown, Texas.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Cody Duty)

Tim Miller—or, rather, the search-and-recovery organization he created—has found 238 bodies. His daughter's wasn't one of those. Miller founded Texas EquuSearch in 2000, some 16 years after his 16-year-old was murdered. On Sept. 10, 1984, Laura Miller headed to a gas station to use the payphone and vanished; her family had just moved into a new League City, Texas, home, and they didn't have phone service yet. Laura's remains were found in an oil field in town two years later, the third body to be found in that field. The first, found five months prior to her disappearance, was that of Heide Fye. The 23-year-old had gone missing from the very same gas station as Laura; she had also gone to use the phone. Miller, now 71, saw a connection and pushed police to search the field.

They didn't and wouldn't grant him permission to do so, writes J. Oliver Conroy for the Guardian. It was only the discovery two years later of a second woman, still known only as Jane Doe, that police searched the field and found Laura, whose body, like that of the other two women, had been leaned against a tree facing the sky. Miller suspected a serial killer, and Conroy details his decades-long quest to find him. The search led Miller to lease the oil field, which he "attacked ... with a backhoe," and to hold a gun to the head of a man he was convinced was the killer—only to decide years later he had the wrong guy. He now thinks his former neighbor in Dickinson, Clyde Hedrick, murdered his daughter. Hendrick is serving a 20-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter in an unrelated case and claims he didn't kill Laura. Read the full story here. (More Longform stories.)

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