Tag Archives: true crime tuesday

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.

Cold Case Quest: Brenda West & Robert Valentine

On February 3, 1987, Columbus residents Brenda West and Robert Valentine were found deceased in their living room. Both had been shot while sitting on the couch. Robbery and murder/suicide were ruled out as possible motives.

West and Valentine had lived at the apartment for a little over a year. West was separated from her husband and in the process of getting a divorce. She was a library aide at a local school.

Police wanted to question the husband but could not find him. As far as I know, they did not find the estranged husband. Did West’s husband commit the murders and steal the car? I wonder if there was a development in the divorce proceedings that sent the husband over the edge.

Was the killer’s motivation due to the fact that West and Valentine were an interracial couple? People weren’t tolerant or accepting of interracial couples in 1987 or even in the present day. Was it a mixture of jealousy and racism?

In 1987, the police did not release a photo or name of the husband. I’m not sure why they would keep the information about the husband a secret. They already stated publicly that they were looking for him so it’s not confidential anymore. It seems like they put the case on the back burner and then forgot about it.

If you have any information or questions about this case, please contact the Columbus Police Department. If you happen to have a photograph of West and Valentine, please contact me at Chasing Destino on Facebook.

 Details about Valentine’s missing car: 1973 Chevrolet Impala with Ohio license plates 576 LQQ. Maroon with a black top. I’ve added a photo to show what Valentine’s car looks like.

Image result for 1973 chevy impala maroon with black top
http://tenwheel.com/view/8163-1973_chevy_impala_custom_____burgundy_with_black_vinyl_roof_.html

The area of the apartment

Cold Case Quest: Janet Amar

 On January 23, 1992, 35 year- old Janet Amar was found in a vacant building by the owner of the building. An aunt had filed a missing persons report on January 6. The last time that her family saw her was January 4. The coroner determined that Amar had been strangled. It has not been reported whether she actually died on January 4 or January 23.

She left the house at 2:30 a.m on January 4. Where did she go? Most bars are closing at that time. She could have been going to an after hours party or to meet someone specific. Honestly, Amar could have been walking to the drive-thru to get cigarettes. It doesn’t seem like she meant to be gone for longer than an hour or two. I think that whoever she met that night took her to the vacant building. It’s about a ten minute walk from her home to the place where she was found.

The house was empty for about 3 weeks. Amar was missing for the same amount of time. It’s just a theory, could the suspect be the previous tenant or the home owner? Someone knew that the house was empty and possibly had access. The suspect could have also been squatting in the house until just before the owner came to the house on January 23. What do the police know about the tenant or owner?

The route between her house and the Berkeley Road house. Some businesses might not have been there in 1992.

It’s possible that someone saw Amar on January 4. She might have been walking with someone or getting in a car with someone.

If you have any information or questions about Janet Amar’s case, please contact the Columbus Police Department. If you happen to have a photograph of Amar, please contact me at Chasing Destino on Facebook.

Cold Case Quest: Danita Obanion

Who: Danita Obanion, 30, had just moved to a new apartment about a week before her murder occurred on January 23, 1989. Neighbors and police suspected that the homicide was drug-related.

The only thing anyone said about the reason for suspecting was that there was a lot of traffic at the apartment. She was known to narcotics officers as “Star” because she wore a star nose ring.

She was found in the kitchen with a gunshot wound in her chest. The police would not identify the man who found her. Is it possible that he was a source of information about drugs in the area?

Obanion had been arrested for prostitution so did she switch to making or selling drugs? It’s possible that she thought a career in drugs was a step up from prostitution.

 This is a map of the area of Obanion’s apartment in the central area of Columbus. I hope that if anyone has any information about the case that they come forward. It’s been 31 years which seems too long to hold on to information that could solve a homicide.

If you have any information or questions about Danita Obanion’s case, please contact the Columbus Police Department. If you happen to have a photograph of Obanion, please contact me at Chasing Destino on Facebook.



Cold Case Quest: Karen Moore

Twenty-six year old Karen Moore was at a party on April 4, 1986. She left the party in an ambulance. Moore was not able to recover from multiple stab wounds.

 There were witnesses at this party. Moore and another person were in an argument. At some point, both Moore and the other person pulled out their knives. I am not sure who got their knife out first and who was defending themselves. The end result of the altercation was that Moore was killed and the other person walked away.

The person was questioned but no one was charged with homicide. If it was self-defense, why is Moore’s case on the unsolved homicide list? If it was murder, why wasn’t the offender charged with Moore’s murder?

This case does not seem like it should be a cold case. There were witnesses at the party. The police questioned the suspect and didn’t rule that it was self-defense or homicide. The case was just not resolved. Does anyone know why?


If you have any information or questions about Karen Moore’s case, please contact the Columbus Police Department. If you happen to have a photograph of Moore, please contact me at Chasing Destino on Facebook.

Cold Case Quest: Yvonne Norris

Whoever was responsible for the August 1989 homicide of Yvonne Norris was really and truly a monster. The person tried to cover up the murder by setting a fire, which could have killed her children and the other people in the apartment complex. Two of her children were home at the time but managed to escape the fire.

The police and fire investigators knew right away that this was not just a case of arson. Norris had been strangled. Her hands were tied behind her back. The fire investigators said that the person who started the fire had tried in several places to get the fire to light. I would imagine that quite a bit of evidence was ruined by the fire. Of course, arson creates its own evidence.


Norris had divorced from her husband about a year before. Was he angry about the divorce or child support? There haven’t been any suspects that anyone knows about yet.


None of the neighbors heard or saw anything. They knew that she was home from doing errands at 9:30 p.m. and didn’t see her for the rest of the evening.


The apartments were at the corner of 17th Ave. and Summit St. As far as I know, there are still apartments in that location. So if anyone saw anything from 9:30 p.m. Aug. 26 until 2:27 a.m. on Aug. 27, 1989, please contact the Columbus Police Department.

If anyone happens to know anything about Yvonne Norris or if you have a photo of her, you can send a message to my Facebook page, Chasing Destino. More importantly, if you have any information about the homicide itself, please contact the Columbus Police Department.

Cold Case Quest: Marilyn Wray

Columbus resident Marilyn Wray, 21, was the mother of a six year old daughter. On December 15, 1978, Wray was killed by strangulation. The daughter was asleep in the next room but was unharmed. At 7 a.m. the same day, Wray was found by her sixteen year old sister, who lived nearby.

There was a male friend visiting until 2 a.m. that evening. Wray had been babysitting for her neighbors. The newspaper says that the male friend, the couple and the child left at 2 a.m.

Some items had been stolen from Wray’s bedroom but the police haven’t said what the items were. It doesn’t seem like burglary was the main motivation. As a single mother, she didn’t have a lot of money. Regardless of her financial situation, the crime seemed more personal than just wanting to steal a few things.

So did the boyfriend go back to her apartment later? The police questioned him but did not pursue an investigation. Did another person enter the apartment after the boyfriend left? I cannot say for sure that Wray’s case is connected to other cases. It’s always a possibility.

No one has come forward with information. However, I suspect that someone saw or heard something. The walls and floors of apartments tend to be thin so it’s possible that there are witnesses.

The purple marker is where the apartment complex is located in Columbus, Ohio. If anyone saw anything at the apartment on December 15 between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m., they should contact the Columbus Police Department with any information that could help solve the case.


If anyone happens to know anything about Marilyn Wray or happens to have a photo, you can send a message to my Facebook page, Chasing Destino.