Cold Case Quest: Sue Ann Miller

Twenty-four-year-old Sue Ann Miller was a secretary at Ohio Dominican College. On the evening of March 22, 1976, her neighbor found Miller fully clothed in the bathtub of her home. Miller’s husband has called the neighbor because he was concerned that Miller was not answering the phone.

The coroner had a difficult time determining the cause of death. Although she was wearing a scarf, it was not used to strangle her. Miller also did not drown in the bathtub. The official cause of her death was eventually ruled asphyxiation. Miller may have been smothered with a pillow before being placed in the bathtub.

The police also had a difficult time figuring out who could have had a motive? Was it a robber? There wasn’t anything of value stolen. Miller may have surprised the robber and they left without actually stealing anything. It is doubtful. A thief would not have left without taking something.

The police wanted her husband, Paul David Miller, to take a lie detector test but he refused. It’s not clear whether he ever took the lie detector test. When Sue Ann Miller was found, her husband was working on a faulty alarm at 140 East Town Street.

If Mr. Miller did commit the crime, what was his motive? Did he plan the murder and the cover up of the crime? Is he a genius and figured out how to be in a building with a faulty alarm in time to provide an alibi? If you go with this theory, did he call the neighbor to check on his wife to throw people off of his trail?

This is the route from where Paul Miller was to where their home was. Possible but is it likely? It sounds more like a movie script. However, we’ve all watched enough Dateline to know people can be motivated to cover their tracks in order to stay out of jail.

Honestly, I think the police just ran out of leads. They did not have enough evidence to convict Mr. Miller or anyone else.

This case happened in 1976 – before a lot of technology was available. They had fingerprints but not much else that they could test. I wonder if they’ve done anything with the fingerprints or other evidence lately.

If you have any information or questions about this case, please contact the Columbus Police Department. 

I found the photo in the newspaper archives. It hasn’t been posted on the Ohio Attorney General’s website yet.

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