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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Shane Miller Family Murder Case

     In 2013, Shane Franklin Miller, a twice convicted marijuana grower and distributor, lived with his 34-year-old wife Sandy and their two daughters in a two-story house surrounded by pine trees in northern California's Shasta County. The 45-year-old and his family resided in the rural community of Shingletown located 230 miles northeast of San Francisco. The Miller property was also home to a small flock of alpacas, two horses and a pony that grazed not far from the house. The Miller family kept to itself.

     At 7:45 on the evening of Tuesday, May 7, 2013, someone from the Miller household called 911 to report a shooting. Upon arrival at the Miller dwelling, deputies with the Shasta County Sheriff's Office discovered the dead bodies of an adult woman and two elementary school-aged girls. The victims, Sandy Miller and her daughters Shelly and Shasta, had each been shot several times. (Detectives believe the 911 call had been made by one of the victims.)

     Officers who searched the house, a shed, and the detached garage found several guns. They did not, however, find Shane Miller or his pickup truck. Shortly after the discovery of the mass murder scene, law enforcement officers in the region began looking for Shane Miller.

     Late on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, police officers in Humboldt County 200 miles west of the murder scene found Shane Miller's abandoned 2010 Dodge Mea Cab pickup. The gold-colored truck equipped with a camper shell was found near the town of Petrolia, California. Miller, who had grown up in the forests and canyons of Humboldt County, owned a cabin in the area.

     Law enforcement officers involved in the manhunt for the man suspected of murdering his wife and two daughters considered him armed and dangerous. In 2002, Miller was convicted of possessing a machine gun as an ex-felon.

     On May 14, 2013, a week after the killings, the authorities, following a massive search, began scaling back the operation.

     In June 2014, police officers found a homemade underground fortress on property that Miller owned. Inside, detectives found an arsenal of rifles, shotguns, and handguns. A month later, in Shasta County, searchers found Miller's body in a remote area along the bank of the Mattole River near Petrolia. This was an area Miller had fled to in the past when pursued by the authorities. A loaded handgun lay next to his remains. The manner of death was later identified as suicide.

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