Thursday, May 09, 2013

Manhunt in Humboldt for suspected killer; father suspected of shooting wife, 2 daughters; officials on the lookout in Petrolia area

UPDATED: WOMAN, DAUGHTERS SHOT TO DEATH - Record Searchlight staff
Shane Franklyn Miller, 45, is being sought by deputies and is considered armed and dangerous. Via Times-Standard
...(A) woman and her two daughters found dead Tuesday night at their home suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

"The husband and father was responsible for the alleged 3 homicides," said Lt. Dave Kent at a press conference this afternoon.

The three victims, 34-year-old Sandy Miller, and two daughters, Shelby Miller, 8, and Shasta Miller, 4, were found dead at their home on the 28400 block of Alpine Way. The children's father, Shane Franklyn Miller, 45, is the lone suspect sought by deputies and is considered armed and "extremely dangerous."

Deputies said they couldn't go into details about why they believe Shane Miller killed his family. They said they couldn't confirm what Miller used to allegedly shoot his family.

At a press conference held this afternoon, sheriff's officials said they entered the home Tuesday and found the three victims with gunshot wounds.

Lt. Tom Campbell said that an alert issued earlier this afternoon contained incorrect information about the suspect's vehicle. Authorities are still looking for a gold 2010 Dodge Mega Cab pickup truck with a camper shell, license plate 8Z75988.

They received a 911 call from the home around 7:45 p.m., but deputies wouldn't say who called authorities, except that the call came from the home where the victims were killed.

Deputies said there had been a domestic disturbance at the home in April, but said they couldn't confirm whether a domestic dispute played a part in the shooting.

An alert issued by law enforcement at about 10:30 a.m. today said Miller, whose birthday is today, was possibly headed to a cabin in Ferndale, where he may have a cache of weapons.
Humboldt Connection in Shasta Triple Murder - Kym Kemp/Lost Coast Outpost (watch for updates)
Miller is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighs 200 pounds and has red hair and blue eyes, sheriff’s Lt. Tom Campbell said. He is driving a gold 2010 Dodge Mega Cab pickup with a camper shell and California license plate of 8Z75988, according to the Sheriff’s Office
...Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Lt. Steve Knight said an active search was being conducted Wednesday evening in the Mattole Valley area of Petrolia for triple homicide suspect Shane Franklyn Miller, 45. The sheriff's office reported the discovery of the gold 2010 Dodge Mega Cab pickup truck Miller had been reported driving earlier, parked and vacant on the 30000 block of Mattole Road.... - Redding Searchlight and Times-Standard staff
Vehicle of Suspect in Shasta County Triple Slayings Found at Mouth of Mattole - Kym Kemp/Lost Coast Outpost (watch for updates)

UPDATES FROM LOST COAST OUTPOST:

Mattole Schools Close as Manhunt Continues - Kym Kemp 5/8
Sheriff Downey: Where We’re At in the Mattole Manhunt - Kym Kemp 5/9
Afternoon Manhunt Update: No Leads to Report, But Tour of the Unknown Coast Will Go Forward - Hank Sims 5/9
Photos of Petrolia as Hunt for Triple Homicide Suspect Continues - Kym Kemp 5/9
Dead Body Rumors Unfounded, Says Lt. Hanson - Kym Kemp 5/10
No News From the Shane Miller Manhunt in the Mattole Valley - Hank Sime 5/10
More Officers Arrive to Search for Triple Homicide Suspect - Kym Kemp 5/10

UPDATES FROM TIMES-STANDARD:

Sheriff's office: Triple murder suspect's truck found on Mattole Road; stay indoors - 5/8
Second Update: Mattole manhunt continues, Miller an ex-convict - 5/9
Murder suspect Shane Miller has been in trouble with the law before, according to the Associated Press.
In 2002, Miller was charged in San Francisco with making and selling marijuana for distribution, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a machine gun and money laundering, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a gun and was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison. He was released in May 2007, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Third update: Search for Miller ongoing in Petrolia after truck sighted - 5/8

Humboldt manhunt continues; search for suspected killer leaves Petrolia area residents on edge - Kaci Poor 5/10
There are obvious similarities between this search and the 2011 manhunt in Mendocino County for Aaron Bassler, the 35-year-old man wanted in the killings of two men in the Fort Bragg area, Downey said. In both cases, the wanted men were believed to be armed, dangerous and familiar with the region in which they were hiding.

”There are also distinct differences,” Downey said. “The area we are looking at searching is not as containable as the Jackson State Forest region where Bassler was hiding. This area is very rugged and forested. It is going to have its own set of problems.”
Gunshot victim found in Myers Flat, unrelated to manhunt - 5/11
Mattole manhunt continues Friday with ramped-up effort; classmates remember Miller as experienced outdoorsman - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard 5/11

Miller spent his freshman year of high school living with Zachary Davis on Cleveland Street in Ferndale. Davis said his family regularly took on young boarders from Petrolia or Honeydew so they could attend high school in Ferndale or Fortuna. Mattole Triple Junction High School in Petrolia wasn't built until the 1990s, he explained.

Davis remembers Miller as a mean, angry 14-year-old with a penchant for cruel practical jokes.
”I didn't care to know him, and I didn't try to get to know him either,” Davis said. “I was not surprised at all when I saw his name in the paper. What surprised me the most is that it took him this long to do something this evil.”

Davis said Miller -- like most young people raised in the Mattole Valley -- could take care of himself in the wild. Miller could build a fire and a lean-to, Davis said.

”When you're raised out there, you are brought up a little differently,” he said. “You are taught about guns really young, you know how to hunt, set snares and traps. I think Shane could take care of himself out there, but I don't know for how long -- I guess it just depends on what gear he's got.”
Davis said he thought it was unlikely that anyone in the community would want to help Miller, even if he did contact old friends....

Knight said the sheriff's office has not canceled the Tour of the Unknown Coast, which is set to ride down Mattole Road today. Knight said a law enforcement presence will be posted along the route as a safety precaution.

The Bureau of Land Management's Arcata Field Office posted notice that the King Range National Conservation area, including the Lost Coast Trail, would be closed until further notice. Knight said he hopes the public honors the closure.

”We want people to stay out of there for their own safety,” he said. “Having people hiking around complicates things. It is a safety issue for them and for our staff.”

Anyone with information
on his whereabouts should call 911
or the sheriff's office at 245-6540.

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