Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Profile of Tim Miller and Texas EquuSearch

Searches Still Open

Logo: Scaredmonkeys.com
Logo: Scaredmonkeys.com

TES participates with a blogging site, Scaredmonkeys.com, which among other things lists cases of missing persons and news reports that follow the progress of various searches. The Scared Monkeys cofounders, Red and Tom, came across TES as a volunteer was posting updates on the Aruba situation, so they invited TES to use their site. They added a Missing Persons board, consisting largely of people on the TES list, and did a live phone interview with Tim Miller. Then Red was invited along to Aruba as one of the volunteers. That gave him added incentive to keep the stories alive.

Briefing volunteers
Briefing volunteers

"Covering the case was one thing," says Red, "in meeting, talking and discussing issues with the Texas EquuSearch volunteers. However, the story took on a whole new emotional and personal perspective when I spent ten days in Aruba searching in the landfill, searching with dog teams and searching the van der Sloots neighbor's property. Digging in a landfill side by side with the TES volunteers and with family members such as Dave Holloway gave new meaning and a perspective to missing person cases that I could never have experienced by just writing about them. To physically be a part of the search team in the most foul-smelling, heat-exhausting, dirty landfill, and working side by side with Natalee's dad was an experience that will last a lifetime. What transpired was an understanding of the perseverance and dedication of volunteer searchers and the will and determination of a family to find their daughter."

Bloggers are welcome to post information or comments on the Scared Monkeys site about any cases in which they have information or leads. (During the coverage of Natalee Holloway search, the site logged 1.4 unique visitors per month.) Many items feature the work of TES, and Scared Monkeys posts announcements to assist TES in recruiting volunteers, such as the following notice from January 26, 2006: "Texas EquuSearch Director Tim Miller is requesting volunteers for the search of Robin Turner on Thursday, January 26, 2006, at 10 A. M. Tim will need horses, 4-wheelers, and ground searchers. The command center is located at the Forest North Park on the corner of Peach Stone & Roseville in Spring, Texas."

Robin required seizure medication, and since she had been missing for ten days already, the need to locate her was urgent. People responded and TES volunteers searched for only two hours and fifteen minutes on January 26, the same day the notice went up, before locating her body. Sadly, she might have been found alive had an organized search commenced immediately upon learning she was missing. But that requires letting the public know that these resources are available. Those who do know are doing their part to spread the word. "Scared Monkey Missing & Exploited looks to the future to continue to aid as a resource for missing persons," Red states, "and potentially partner with others to effectively cause changes in how cases will be investigated. Missing person is a major issue of our day and no one should have to be victim to this crime or horrible tragedy."

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

Tim Miller has come a long way since his daughter was murdered two decades ago. Besides finding the dead, he has helped to locate people who wandered off and has returned many children to their parents. He's met many wonderful people as well among those who have volunteered to assist.

"I feel like the most blessed person in the world," he states. "I can look back at Laura's death, which took me so long to try to make any sense out of, and I can say, 'Laura, your death wasn't in vain.' It was because of her death that we have saved many lives and brought closure to many families. I miss her every day, but a lot of good has come out of her death, too."

Miller's ultimate goal is to acquire half a million members nationwide for EquuSearch, so when the need arises in any given state, they can get people from around the country on site immediately. With the number of people who respond to the plea for volunteers with each new search, he's well on the way to achieving that goal.

Donations can be sent to:
Texas EquuSearch
Mounted SAR Team
P. O. Box 395
Dickinson, Texas 77539

 

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