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Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Topekan: Body is my son’s

Authorities still withholding identification of remains found in April near Lecompton

November 21, 2001

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Dale E. Miller is tired of waiting.

He's tired of waiting to be told that the human remains found by state and area law enforcement officers in April near Lecompton are those of his 38-year-old son, Dale Alan Miller.

"They (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) told me that they were 90 percent sure it was my son," the 56-year-old Miller said Tuesday.

That was back in late August or early September, Miller said. Since then he hasn't heard any more from the KBI or any other law enforcement agency about the investigation.

On April 13, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the KBI about a body supposedly buried near Lecompton. It was found beneath chunks of concrete about 100 feet east of East 225 Road and a quarter-mile south of North 2190 Road.

Douglas County Sheriff Rick Trapp has said his department and the KBI were investigating the body as a possible homicide, but a cause of death has not been determined. Trapp said the body had been buried "for some time."

Miller, however, believes his son was murdered. Dale Alan Miller had admitted to being involved with drugs, and that is why his father thinks his son was murdered. Both father and son are from Topeka.

"He had talked about it, but he knew I didn't approve," Miller said. "He made mistakes in his life, and I believe that he was not proud of them. As many of us have, he made some poor choices."

No one was available for comment Tuesday at the KBI's Topeka headquarters. In August, Trapp and the KBI said the body was so badly decomposed that standard DNA tests weren't adequate for a positive identification.

The FBI was asked to conduct a specialized mitochondrial DNA analysis. The test could take months, Trapp and the KBI said at the time.

The last time Miller saw his son was in September 2000. His son's mother was dying of cancer, and she told the family she was discontinuing treatments, Miller said.

Shortly after that, two men who knew Dale Alan Miller said he had disappeared. On Oct. 3, 2000, the Topeka Police Department began investigating the disappearance.

Dale Alan Miller didn't show up for his mother's funeral in January, nor did he stop to visit at the funeral home, his father said.

The length of the investigation has raised questions in Miller's mind about the adequacy of the justice system, he said. He wonders what has happened to the oral swabs he and other family members provided to the KBI and FBI for DNA comparisons.

"I do not trust our justice system," he said. "I need some closure to this."

Trapp said his office has continued to work with the KBI and FBI but added that he hasn't heard any more about the investigation, either. He declined to confirm Dale E. Miller's suspicions about the body's identification.

"This matter certainly is not forgotten," Trapp said.

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