Coroner’s report in homicide cites children hearing scream

The children of a slain Lawrence woman heard her scream the night of her death and said their father — who’s now charged with the murder — was up and passed by their rooms during the night, according to an autopsy report released Friday.

The report also says Mary E. Miller died of “compression of the neck” and that a coroner found bruising inside the muscles of her neck.

Coroner Erik Mitchell’s office released the full autopsy report for the 46-year-old Kansas University librarian a day after Mitchell ended a monthlong silence about her cause of death by saying in an interview she had died of asphyxia, or lack of oxygen.

Miller’s husband, carpenter and former Christian-school trustee Martin K. “Marty” Miller, 45, is charged with first-degree murder.

“According to initial information, the decedent was found expired in her bed at home by her husband,” Mitchell wrote in the report. “She had no known past medical history to explain sudden demise. According to the husband he had been asleep in another room on a chair or couch. According to the children, the decedent had screamed during the night and their father was up and walked passed (sic) the children’s rooms at some time.”

Mitchell declined Friday to discuss the report further.

“It’s not gone to court. It’s not wise for me to discuss it,” he said.

Martin Miller is free on $150,000 cash bond, which his attorney said had been posted by his parents. Thursday, Miller told a judge he didn’t have enough money to keep attorney Michael Riling on the case and would need a court-appointed attorney.