Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 8, 2012

Neighbor, mayor look toward safety and resolution

GOSHEN — Looking back to last year, Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said the murder of Goshen College professor James Miller acts as a reminder that bad things can happen, but that Goshen is a safe place to live.

“I don’t feel any differently about the safety in Goshen,” Kauffman said Friday. “It shows that bad things can happen in good places, but it doesn’t mean Goshen has become unsafe.”

Sandy Lehman, who lives just across the street from the Millers’ home, said he has been part of the Wildwood neighborhood for more than 12 years. The sleepy cul-de-sac community has families and is quiet, with neighbors conversing in passing, Lehman said.

“There is this recognition in the neighborhood that something terrible happened,” Lehman said. “People hear our street and say, ‘Is that the place where that happened?’ A year ago, just after it happened, no one would say that, but now you hear it.”

Lehman said he knew Miller all the years he has lived on Wildwood, and neighbors have a sense of loss and heartache since his untimely death.

“I wish I would have known him better,” Lehman said. “Days go by, and I think, ‘Did this really happen?’”

The biggest wish now, looking toward the future, is one of resolution, Lehman said. The investigation is still unsolved; no one has been arrested in relation to the case.

“We want resolution, most for his family,” Lehman said. “The biggest wish would be for someone who knows something to come forward to the police with that information.”

In a neighborhood where everyone seemed to know everyone else, the loss of such a vibrant member of the area is still felt, he said.

“He was very instrumental in the lives of many,” Lehman said. “All of us know something terrible, a murder, happened here. We don’t want his legacy forgotten, and one way to keep that spark alive is to talk about it.”

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