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This story was originally reported July 13, 2014.
On May 7, 2013, a 911 dispatcher got a call from the residence of Shane and Sandy Miller in Shasta County in northern California. On the other line, the sounds of breathing and crying, then loud bangs before the line went dead. When police arrived at the Millers’ house, they found the bodies of Sandy Miller and the couple’s two daughters – Shelby, age 8, and Shasta, age 5 – with multiple gunshot wounds.
Shane Miller, 46
Miller came to the attention of local law enforcement about a month earlier, when his wife accused him of domestic violence, according to the sheriff’s department. It was his first run-in with Shasta County law enforcement and that arrest uncovered a lengthy criminal record, including a stint in federal prison, according to Sheriff Tom Bosenko.
Following that reported domestic violence incident in April 2013, Sandy Miller went with her two daughters to a local women’s shelter where she said that Shane had “been very agitated for three days” and “assaulted her, tortured her” and “was threatening to kill her whole family,” according to shelter advocate Mare Deutcher.
After the killings, Shane Miller, his truck and the family dog went missing. He quickly became the lead suspect in the case. The next day, he and his truck were spotted 200 miles away in Petrolia, California.
Miller, who grew up in the nearby town of Garberville, was spotted by an ex-girlfriend who called 911. That sparked a manhunt in and around Petrolia and law enforcement came within 10 minutes of nabbing Miller, according to Humboldt County Sheriff’s investigator Todd Fulton.
Miller ditched his truck and authorities believe he fled on foot into the mountainous forests of California’s “Lost Coast,” an area he knows well.
The hunt for Miller ended Sunday, August 3 when authorities announced they had found his remains in Petrolia, not far from where his truck was found.
The remains were reported Friday on the banks of the Mattole River, according to a statement from the Shasta County sheriff’s office. They were identified through dental records. It was not immediately clear how long they had been there.