Father whose daughter was murdered three decades ago believes he has finally found her killer
Miller's 16-year-old daughter Laura was kidnapped and murdered at the Killing Field in League City, Texas, in 1984
A man from Texas who has helped find missing people numbering in the hundreds across America has finally solved the 35-year-old mystery of the disappearance of his own daughter. 71-year-old Tim Miller's daughter, 16-year-old Laura, was kidnapped and murdered at a location in League City, Texas, in 1984. The Daily Mail has reported that no one had ever been charged with her murder before.
Miller was extremely disappointed after the local police did not put enough effort into finding his daughter's killer. He made it his life's mission to find the person who murdered his daughter. This mission of his ultimately helped him find many others in his community and across the country find missing persons of their own. Laura was last spotted using a payphone at a convenient store in a neighborhood in League City, Texas, on September 10, 1984. She was calling her boyfriend at the time.
The Miller family had just moved to League City that same year and it's a town located on the Texas Interstate 45 between Houston and Galvestone. The I-45 has the nickname "Highway of Hell" because more than 30 women have been reported missing or found murdered along the highway since the 1970s.
Only six months after Laura was taken, a dog dug up the skull of 23-year-old Heidi Fye in an oil field. This led the authorities to the rest of her remains. Fye was a local waitress who coincidentally disappeared after she used the same payphone as Laura did. Miller asked, in fact he demanded, that the police look for Laura's remains as well because there seemed to be one thing connecting the two cases. He told the Guardian that his demands were casually brushed off.
Then, in February 1986, two children who were riding on their bikes on a field, found the remains of another woman. The woman, called Jane Doe because she could not be identified, was in her mid-20s. She had been shot in her back and her body had been disposed of in the field a few weeks or even months after she was murdered. Jane Doe's remains were found only a few hundred meters from where Fye's remains were found. The authorities finally decided that they should search the field and sure enough, just 60 ft away from where they found Jane Doe's remains, they found Laura.
The remains of a second unidentified female victim was found in the same field in 1991 and that area, which sits right next to the Highway of Hell, has been called "The Killing Field". Miller has been convinced for a very long time that Laura, Fye, and Jane Doe were all killed by the same man. This man was also someone Miller had personally investigated when the search for his daughter's killer had just started.
The man, Clyde Hedrick, used to live on the same street that the Miller family lived in before they made the move to League City. Miller told the Guardian that Hedrick had known his daughter personally and even spoken to her sometimes when she used to walk by his home. There was even one time that Laura and her friends had gone to Hedrick's home to buy marijuana.
One year after the murder of Laura, Hedrick was convicted of abusing a corpse. According to Hedrick, a woman called Ellen Beason had drowned in a pool that they were swimming in together after they had met at a night club in League City. The man said that he panicked when it dawned on him that Beason was dead and that he had hidden her body.
The authorities, however, were quite skeptical of Hedrick's story even after he was convicted of the crime and they exhumed Beason's body. A complete examination on the corpse found that Beason had died due to blunt force trauma to the head. In April 2013, almost 30 years after she was murdered, Hedrick was arrested for the crime. Even though he pleaded not guilty in court, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Miller filed a $110 million wrongful death lawsuit in 2014 against Hedrick and he said that it was at the time that he felt "as though it was Clyde from the very beginning and now he has been convicted of Ellen's death. I have no doubt in my mind Clyde is responsible for Laura, Heidi, and Jane Doe's deaths. And I will continue to fight to get him indicted and convicted in their deaths."
Hedrick is currently at the penitentiary in Texas serving out his sentence. He still maintains that he had nothing to do with the deaths of the three women — Laura, Heidi, and Jane Doe — whose remains were found in the "Killing Field". Miller told the Guardian that he had spent almost 10 years after Laura died on a mission to find her and her killer by himself. He even tracked down the man who owned the "Killing Field" and leased it out for $10 a year. Miller spent years running a fine-toothed comb through the property eventually covering every sqare inch of the field.
Miller put together a bunch of volunteers who would help him with his epic quest. In 2000, he founded Texas EquuSearch. Initially, the organization was supposed to be a mounted search and recovery operation that focused on missing people in the Galvestone area. Fast forward to the present day and Miller has hundreds of volunteers who use all manner of tool to help them locate missing people from boats and drones to horses. The organization looks for missing people across the country and internationally as well.
According to the Texas EquuSearch website, the charitable organization has been able to help find more than 400 missing people alive and they have also managed to recover the bodies of 238 deceased people. Miller has been convinced that Hedrick is his daughter's killer for more of 2010 and he is still petitioning to have the man confess to the murder.
Miller told the Guardian that he only wants a confession from Hedrick and he even willing to exchange one for immunity. He told the Houston Press in 2015: "There is one thing worse than having a murdered child, and that is probably knowing that your child is out there dead somewhere and never being able to say goodbye."