Just under seventeen years ago, a 22 year old woman named Dawn Miller disappeared. She was from Williamsport, where the disappearance was reported, but she was last seen in Bellefonte. It was reported last week that a witness has come forward that claims to have seen her murder. The alleged murderer committed suicide last October, just less than sixteen years after Dawn Miller disappeared. The police are searching for her body, near Bellefonte.
First, I am overjoyed that this missing case might be about to be solved. I hope that this will provide closure to Ms. Miller’s family and friends. I am happy that there is the possibility that justice will be served.
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Second, I am saddened that if the alleged perpetrator was the actual killer, he has escaped justice that could be meted out by the Commonwealth by being dead, by being a suicide. I am mindful of the old adage, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” I am troubled by the possibility that a murderer was walking the streets for nearly sixteen years; I hope you are too. (Possibly, he was incarcerated for some of that time.)
Third, I am hopeful that even a long standing cold case has become hot and that there is still hope for a resolution to the Gricar case. It has some similarities to the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar, who ironically was the Centre County District Attorney at the time. Like the Gricar case, witnesses put Ms. Miller in a different jurisdiction that the one that took that missing person’s report. Likewise, from what I’ve heard, the Bellefonte Police Department has been involved in the Miller investigation.
Fourth, and finally, I wonder if greater publicity on the case might have helped solve the Miller case much sooner. In looking at the case on the Internet, I found this reference: http://www.brendacondon.com/observations.htm Yes, it is from the site of yet another missing person, that of Brenda Condon, still missing since February 1991. The final line in the case summary is most telling, if not chilling; it is, “Few details are available in her case.”
Now, in all fairness, there has been more information given out in the Gricar case. The media reporting has been much more extensive on the Gricar case. In 1992, there was no Internet to speak of and information was slow to get out. Still, had there been more information out there, there might have been a quicker resolution to the case.
When I first heard about the Gricar case, I expected it be resolved probably by the end of the summer of 2005. I never thought it would be unresolved more than four years later; I certainly never, in my wildest dreams, thought I’d be blogging about it, even a year ago.
The possible resolution of the Miller case is good news, for everyone concerned. In terms of the Gricar case, it gives additional hope for the final resolution of that case. I hope that it will not take seventeen years to solve it. If Mr. Gricar’s disappearance is the result of murder, justice delayed would be justice denied.