FBI assistance sought in investigation of Mica Miller’s death, estranged wife of South Carolina pastor, initially ruled suicide

Officials have requested federal assistance to investigate the tragic death of a South Carolina pastor’s wife, which appears to be a suicide. This heartbreaking incident is surrounded by disturbing allegations of abuse. It is worth noting that just a month prior to her death, the victim had filed a police report expressing her fear for her life after discovering that her tires had been deliberately deflated.

Mica Miller, a 30-year-old woman, was discovered deceased on April 27 at Lumber River State Park in North Carolina, which is approximately 70 miles away from her residence in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. According to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina medical examiner’s office concluded that her cause of death was suicide.

The sheriff’s office has confirmed in a statement that John Paul Miller, the estranged husband of the deceased, was not present in North Carolina at the time of her death. According to the release, both he and a woman he is reportedly in a romantic relationship with were out of state.

The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office has reached out to federal authorities for assistance in the investigation, as reported by The Sun News newspaper of Myrtle Beach on Tuesday. This request came to light following a recent rally, where protesters demanded justice for the tragic death of Mica Miller and made claims of abuse against John Paul Miller.

John Paul Miller’s lawyer has vehemently denied the allegations of abuse, dismissing them as baseless rumors that have caused significant distress and harm to the pastor.

The sheriff’s office was unavailable for further details regarding the request. However, a spokesperson for the FBI in Columbia, South Carolina, acknowledged that the field office has been in communication with the sheriff’s office. It is important to note that FBI policy prohibits confirming or denying any potential investigations.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina spokesperson also gave a similar statement.

Mica Miller’s family lawyer, Regina Ward, expressed her confusion as to why local officials had contacted federal authorities. She raised concerns about certain aspects of the local investigation, particularly the conclusion that Mica Miller’s death was a suicide. Ward reassured that the family would fully cooperate if a federal investigation were to take place.

The death of Mica Miller has sparked intense emotions within her community. Last week, a rally called “Justice for Mica” took place outside Solid Rock Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, where her husband was employed.

According to the Facebook page dedicated to the event, she openly shared her story of leaving her abusive husband and starting a new life.

The page states that her intention was to raise awareness about the perils of abuse and emphasize that it should never be tolerated. It is truly heart-wrenching to consider the possibility that she may have endured such suffering for an extended period before ultimately deciding to take such a drastic step.

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Mica and John Paul Miller tied the knot in 2017, as shared by Ward. However, their marriage hit a rough patch as Mica filed for legal separation in October. The case was eventually dismissed in February after the couple decided to give their relationship another chance. Surprisingly, Mica once again filed for separation on April 15, as mentioned in a memorandum supporting a special administrator in her estate, which was submitted to probate court.

Mica Miller recently sought legal representation from Ward for her separation case. According to an affidavit from Mica Miller’s sister, John Paul Miller was officially served with the separation papers on April 25th.

Two days later, Mica Miller tragically lost her life due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The local authorities received a distressing 911 call from a woman who expressed her intention to end her life and requested that her family be able to locate her body.

After conducting a thorough review of the sheriff’s death investigation, Ward expressed her concern regarding the handling of the probe by the local authorities.

According to the report, John Paul Miller’s alibi was not supported by any witnesses. Additionally, there was no autopsy, toxicology analysis, or gunshot residue tests conducted on the victim’s body.

The request for comment made on Wednesday by NBC News to the sheriff’s office did not receive an immediate response. Additionally, NBC News has also submitted a request for the records of Mica Miller to the North Carolina medical examiner’s office.

Ward expressed his concern about the investigation of the scene, stating that it seemed to be focused on finding evidence to support a conclusion of suicide rather than conducting a proper investigation.

According to Ward, Mica Miller was known for diligently documenting her life through multiple journals. However, there is no evidence to suggest that she left behind any explanation for her actions.

During the 911 call, Ward noticed that Mica Miller’s voice had a “flat affect” which contrasted with the tone she had previously heard in her office and over the phone.

Ward expressed his belief that she might have been under the influence of something.

According to Ward, she had a conversation with her client on April 25th, just two days before her client’s passing. During their conversation, there was no mention of any plans to travel to North Carolina. Ward noted that her client seemed highly involved in the process of separating from John Paul and was focused on building a new life where she could be free from him.

‘If I end up with a bullet in my head … it was JP’

Sierra Francis, the sister of Mica Miller, has filed a request to be appointed as special administrator following Mica’s tragic death. Sierra claims that her sister had confided in her about the alleged abuse by John Paul Miller.

In an affidavit, she also claimed that her sister had been gathering evidence for her separation proceedings. However, she noted that these documents and emails mysteriously vanished after Mica Miller was admitted to a mental health facility in February.

According to Francis’ affidavit, Mica repeatedly told him, “If I ever get shot in the head, it won’t be by my own hand, it will be JP.”

Nathaniel Francis, Mica Miller’s brother, has also provided an affidavit as part of the probate filing. In his statement, he reveals that he was aware of multiple instances where Mica Miller filed police reports due to her tires being deflated and the discovery of tracking devices on her car.

According to him, his sister received an email from John Paul Miller apologizing for the deflated tires and the damage to her vehicle. However, the email was not included in the probate filing and has not been seen by NBC News.

According to the affidavit, Mr. Miller expressed his anger towards my sister in an email, stating that he felt betrayed when she confided in her family instead of him. He admitted that his instinct was to retaliate and inflict pain on those who hurt him, rather than seek forgiveness or resolution. He acknowledged his tendency to attack and cause harm instead of forgiving.

In March 11, Mica Miller contacted the authorities in Horry County, South Carolina, regarding two separate incidents that allegedly took place just hours apart. NBC News acquired two redacted police reports that shed light on the situation. One of the reports mentioned that an officer who responded to the call found and removed a tire deflation device, which can be easily purchased online.

According to a later report, Mica Miller was heading to a car dealership after her conversation with the first officer. It was mentioned that the “suspect in this incident” appeared at the gas station where she had made a stop along the way. The report states that she asked him to leave as she didn’t want to engage in conversation, and when she took out her phone to record, he quickly drove away.

According to the report, the victim expressed her fear for her life and mentioned that despite blocking his numbers, she continues to receive calls and texts from him using different numbers.

According to the report, she sent a text message to the officer informing him that a mechanic had discovered a GPS tracking device on her car. She also mentioned that she intended to go to a magistrate’s office to obtain a restraining order.

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According to the report, the officer stated that they were standing with Mica Miller in front of the magistrate’s office when a car slowed down in front of them. Mica Miller then identified the driver as the “suspect,” after which the car quickly sped up and drove away.

The suspect’s name was not disclosed in either report, and the results of the incidents remained uncertain. The Horry County Police Department did not promptly respond to a request for further details on Wednesday.

Pastor’s attorney denies allegations by wife

Attorney Russell Long, representing John Paul Miller, has issued a news release denying the allegations against his client. In the statement, Long dismisses the claims as baseless rumors that are spreading on social media and various media platforms.

Long did not provide a comment in response to the request.

According to the release, Long stated that there was a significant amount of misinformation being spread by both local and national media outlets. This misinformation caused a stir and led to the proliferation of false claims on a large scale. Long firmly denied any allegations suggesting that his client had ever abused his wife.

In response to news articles claiming that Mica Miller alleged she had been groomed in a police report, he firmly denied the allegations that his client had groomed her from the age of 10.

NBC News has requested copies of reports associated with Mica Miller from the Myrtle Beach police.

According to Ward, her client may have intended to refer to the year 2010 instead of the age of 10. In an obituary for Mica Miller, it was mentioned that the two had been friends since 2009, when she was approximately 15 years old and John Paul Miller was around 30.

Long’s statement emphasized the need for an immediate halt to the baseless claims and false reporting, which have caused significant distress and harm to Pastor Miller and his family.

The church has not provided any response to the email requesting comment, and its website is now inactive. Multiple saved versions of his biography on the church website, dating as far back as 2016 and as recently as two weeks ago, can be found on the Internet Archive.

In his 20s, John Paul Miller made a life-changing decision to give his life to Jesus Christ. This marked the beginning of his active involvement in the church. Prior to this, he held the belief that the church was a place for individuals who were not genuine and had hidden personalities.

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