Real Time Investigation: Who Killed James Miller; The Killer
Nearly 7 years after the murder of Goshen College professor, James Miller, neighbors recall multiple incidents in the hour before the homicide in the 1700 block of Wildwood Court.
“Some of the neighbors remember hearing noises in the evening and we think it probably was that person jiggling a door trying to get in somewhere. Trying to find an open door. There were several accounts like that.” Mary Hunsberger, who lives about a block from the scene, said.
One of those people lives about two blocks from Miller's home. Kathryn Aschliman says there was a foreign exchange student, a young woman, staying with her at the time. She says it was around midnight when someone knocked on a window in the back of the home, appearing to try to get the attention of the young woman. Moments later, the front door handle jiggled.
"I still regret not calling police that night." Aschliman said.
Miller was murdered in a home invasion about an hour later.
Aschliman says she did speak with detectives about the incident the next day. She says other neighbors, including right next door, reported similar incidents.
"Someone had cut basement window screens." She said.
In the days following the homicide, detectives combed the immediate area of the crime scene to see where the killer may have gone. They used special chemicals to spot blood. But, several folks living in the surrounding blocks question how the homicide was initially handled. Neighbors tell ABC57 that detectives didn't venture far from the immediate scene.
Goshen Police would not comment about the investigation. It was assigned to the Elkhart County Homicide Unit last year.
“I can’t say that. The investigation’s not complete." Prosecutor Vicki Becker said when asked if she thought the investigation was mishandled at the beginning. "It’s irresponsible to think that at this point, especially if you only have little bits of the information. I’m aware of people out there saying one thing or the other. Quite frankly I think it’s totally irresponsible to comment and draw a conclusion on that at this point, because we don’t have all of the information."
There are several areas where the killer could have gone after the homicide. The crime scene is next to Goshen College. The immediate area is residential. To the east, there's a retirement community.
"He could have had somebody waiting in a car on 15th Street." Hunsberger said. "Or he could be living here (in the neighborhood), yeah."