Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 7, 2012

Police continue to follow leads on Miller attacker

GOSHEN — One thousand, one hundred, and one.

The numbers don’t do justice to a Goshen tragedy, but they tell part of the story.

More than 1,000 police man-hours have been devoted to an investigation. Nearly 100 leads have been pursued after the crime that prompted it. And one man, James S. Miller, is dead.

Miller was murdered during a home invasion in the early morning of Oct. 9, 2011, at 1736 Wildwood Court. Miller lived — and died — just a couple blocks away from Goshen College, where he was a biology professor.

A year after the murder, Miller’s killer has not been arrested for the crime. This is despite what Goshen police Chief Wade Branson outlined as, simply put, an exhaustive investigation.

In a statement released to The Goshen News last week, Branson described his department’s efforts in the wake of the Miller slaying.

“The Millers’ home was secured by the police department for three days while evidence technicians from the Goshen Police Department, aided by technicians from other agencies, pored over the crime scene, collecting and preserving and extraordinary amount of physical evidence,” Branson stated.

The evidence collected over the three-day period following the attack is still being processed by staff with the Indiana State Police laboratory, according to Branson, and the search for DNA must be done meticulously.

“Given the tremendous amount of evidence to inspect and test, it seems painfully slow to those of us waiting on the results,” he said. “However, we are confident that the technicians at the Indiana State Police lab are competent professionals in their field and have as great an interest as we do in bringing this case to closure.”

Branson stated that the community outpouring to Miller’s murder generated close to 100 leads, each one prioritized and investigated by detectives.

“Those leads and tips are still coming in to the police department through Crime Stoppers, and the investigations into them are continuing,” he said. “The community input is a resource greatly valued by the police department, as is the assistance of Crime Stoppers as they continue to direct the relating information to us.”

Reward fund

Last fall, the Goshen Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 81 set up a reward fund with an eye toward solving the crime.

“The purpose was to hopefully have information come forward that would lead to the arrest of the suspect in the case,” said Sandy Snyder, FOP secretary/treasurer.

The Goshen FOP contributed $5,000 to the fund, which has grown to $6,581. “We got four donations from citizens that made up the extra,” Snyder said.

During the October 2011 press conference announcing the fund, then-president of Lodge 81 Chris Juroff said the murder had been taken personally by city police.

“This isn’t something that happens in our community, and we want people to know we aren’t going to stand for it,” Juroff said.

Last week, Snyder echoed those sentiments.

“We want this crime solved as much as anybody because it is such an unusual incident to happen in Goshen,” she said. “And the case is worked on every day.”

Allocating resources

Branson said Goshen police have requested assistance from outside agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as a “second pair of eyes” to ensure nothing in the case goes unnoticed. A Goshen police detective is assigned to the case full-time.

“The department has allocated resources specifically to this investigation and will maintain that allocation until the case is closed or until there are absolutely no new leads to follow,” Branson stated. “Thus far, well over one thousand man-hours have been spent on this investigation by officers and personnel with the Goshen Police Department.”

Confidence in police

Millers widow, Linda, said last week that she has been working closing with GPD detectives and has noticed more tips and activity on the case in recent months. She also said she is patient and confident in the work Goshen police are doing to solve the murder of her husband.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to take to solve the case, but it might be a while yet,” Linda Miller said. “I’m sure there are people in Goshen who think the police are a bunch of idiots who don’t get it right and I would say that’s not the case. I think they’re a bunch of honest, hard-working people who are working hard to solve this awful crime.”

Miller said she will feel much better once the attacker is arrested, but does not want the police to rush something that might result in an error that could later be used against the prosecution.

She also said that she has been warmed by the support the department has shown her and her family over the past year.

“They’re not just interested in solving the crime, but also how we’re doing,” Miller said. “There was a point last fall when I asked for extra patrols and they were very willing to do that.

“I think they’re going to find him yet,” she added. “...They’ve been working hard to make sure everything is right.”

Goshen News Managing Editor Michael Wanbaugh contributed to this report.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140722 fair food drive 03 Fair's food drive falls short of world record, but is still a success

    For a 24-hour period, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair “All IN” food drive committee attempted a “Guinness Book of World Records” for the largest single-day food drive. Their goal: 560,000 pounds of food collected from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140722 fair special needs awareness 02 Many enjoy Disabilities Awareness Day at the fair

    Barry Malone stepped off the Orient Express roller coaster ride, grinning. “That I was fun. I liked that,” Malone said with a laugh. “That was a good ride, too.” Malone attended the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Monday and participated in the Disabilities Awareness Day activities and events at Heritage Park, just inside the main gate.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN131016 county commissioners ELKHART COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Volume cranked up on noise violators

    Elkhart County Commissioners Monday approved the adoption of an ordinance amending the current Elkhart County Noise Ordinance to include stricter penalties for repeat violators.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN140721 fair ride 01.jpg SLIDESHOW: Francesca Battistelli at the fair Christian artist Francesca Battistelli performed at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Sunday night.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 fair parade 43 THE PASSING PARADE GOSHEN — The Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade wound its way from downtown Goshen to the fairgrounds Sunday afternoon, bringing smiles to the faces of adults and children alike with horns, sirens, candy and fun floats. Gail Janssen, of Goshen, said that

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SLIDESHOW: Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade

    July 20, 2014

  • 0720 fair faces Giddens Katheryn Giddens joined 4-H on a whim GOSHEN — She’d have a hard time convincing her 4-H fair family now, but when Katheryn Giddens started her first year in the program, she was shy. “I hardly ever talked. I just showed up and did my thing and didn’t talk much at all,” she said. Gidden

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22 states have jobless rate drop

    WASHINGTON22 states have jobless rate dropUnemployment rates dropped in 22 U.S. states last month and stayed the same in 14, as the nation at large posted a fifth straight month of solid hiring.The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates

    July 20, 2014

  • GN140720 Maple scholars_VanDerZwaag EXPLORING SUMMER GOSHEN — Fourteen Goshen College students are participating in the Maple Scholars Summer Research Program.Started in 1998, Maple Scholars is an eight-week program of research, experimentation, analysis and archiving data. It provides an opportunity f

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success