For the second time, Tim Miller is suing Galveston County over the handling of his daughter’s remains. Laura Miller is considered one of the four victims of the “Killing Fields” murders that took place in the 1980s and 1990s in League City.
“You know, here we are, it’s just one of the thousands of mistakes that have been made in this case,” said Miller.
Miller said he received a call last October from the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office, notifying him human remains were found in a file box bearing the case number for Laura’s murder.
The first time Miller sued the county came after “the Miller family learned that they had only buried Laura Miller’s partial remains and that portions of her body were still being held by various entities and had not in fact been returned to the family for burial,” a lawsuit read.
Miller exhumed his daughter’s remains and then reburied her after receiving what he thought was the remainder of her body. Miller settled the first lawsuit in 2000 with the former Galveston County Medical Examiner, Dr. W.E. Korndorffer, who is now deceased.
Then came the call more of Laura’s remains may still be at the ME’s Office.
“Do you think it’s right that now I got to bury the same child three different times because of y’all’s mistakes?” said Miller.
Miller said his anger comes from the sequence of events that followed the discovery of these remains. Miller said by the time he was notified, the ME’s Office sent the remains to be tested at the University of North Texas, but the remains were sent back untested because UNT lacked a DNA sample for comparison.
“League City police department told them, ‘Oh, we asked Miller for his DNA and he refused to give it to us,’ which is a 100-percent lie,” said Miller.
Miller said this is why he’s hired a well-known Houston attorney, Tony Buzbee.
“They have compounded this pain over and over and over,” said Buzbee. “We’re going to get to the bottom of this, we’re absolutely going to get to the bottom of this.”
An attorney for Galveston County, Paul Ready, claims the county initially tried to work with Miller.
“Mr. Miller went out and hired an attorney and things got antagonistic and the cooperation sort of broke down,” said Ready.
Ready also said Laura’s remains were handled by the former Medical Examiner and he is the one who settled the last lawsuit with Miller, along with the agreement all of the remains were returned.
“You cannot sue the county for breaching a settlement agreement we were not a party to. We did not sign the settlement agreement in question back in the 90s,” said Ready.
Miller is specifically suing for breach of contract and abuse of corpse.
“They’re giving us silly arguments; trying to pretend like they have no responsibility for something by an official of Galveston County,” said Buzbee. “It’s a silly argument that they’re making. It’s almost as bad as how they’ve handled the remains of Laura.”
Ready also provided KPRC a document purporting to bear Miller’s signature from 1986. The document reads Laura’s remains were donated to the county.
“That’s not at all what I agreed to, why would I do that,” said Miller.
Buzbee said he will immediately move to have Miller give a DNA sample so the remains can be tested to verify whether they belong to Laura.
Miller’s anger intensified when he said he learned League City may still consider him a suspect in the more than three-decade-old unsolved murders.
In fact, Miller said he recently took a polygraph test and passed “with the highest score the examiner ever recorded.” Miller has long criticized the department over the handling of the investigation.
League City police have not yet returned our call for comment.
“I will never set foot in the League City police department again,” said Miller.
His daughter’s and the other women’s murders are the reason Miller founded Texas EquuSearch. Miller said there was no organized search when his daughter disappeared and he realized many police departments were not equipped to conduct mass searches.
Miller believes a man by the name of Clyde Hedrick is responsible for the murders. He filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hedrick in 2014. Hedrick is in prison for an unrelated crime and has denied any involvement in the murders.
Miller said this latest episode only deepens the pain he’s carried for more than three decades, but it also strengthens his resolve to continue searching for Laura, Heidi Marie Fye, Donna Prudhomme and Audrey Cook’s killer.
“I’m not going to say I wasn’t close a few times,” Miller said of contemplating suicide. “I’m not ashamed to say I’m still going to therapy over this, but I can tell you this, to my dying breath: I’m there."