CA - Cheryl Scott Miller admits killing four babies, 1965-1970

Discussion in 'Mendocino County' started by ajc2804, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. ajc2804

    ajc2804 New Member

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    Brother Called Police To Report Deaths


    SAN FRANCISCO -- After 40 years of carrying a terrible secret, a man called Mendocino County, Calif., authorities to report that his sister killed four of her babies between 1965 and 1970, authorities said.




    When sheriff's investigators tracked down Cheryl Athene Miller, 59, in San Francisco, where she was unemployed and living alone, she confessed to the murders and was arrested Monday, according to Sgt. Scott Poma.


    Poma wouldn't reveal how or why Miller killed her children, who ranged in age from 11 days to 14 months, only that her brother had known all along and Miller spoke candidly, seemingly ready to unburden herself.


    "She kind of wanted to deal with it," Poma said. "She seemed surprised and remorseful."


    She was arraigned Wednesday on four counts of murder in Mendocino County Superior Court and was being held in lieu of $2 million bail. If convicted, she could face life in prison without parole.


    She did not enter a plea and her next court date was set for Nov. 17. A public defender was not appointed to the case Wednesday, so no lawyer could comment on her behalf.


    The killings began in San Diego County in December 1965 with the death of Sherry Scott, who was just 11 days old, and a month later with her sister, Carla Scott, who was 14 months old, Poma said.


    Both were deemed natural deaths and wouldn't necessarily have raised eyebrows at the time.


    "Escondido was pretty big even back then," he said. "Here, we would've noticed."


    Fifteen months later, Miller's 3-month-old son, David, died in Long Beach, Poma said.


    By February 1970, Miller had moved north to Mendocino County where her mother lived. Her 9-month-old daughter, Kimberly, died in Calpella.


    Investigators were suspicious at the time because Miller told them about the deaths of her other three children, Poma said. She wasn't charged with a crime, but county officials removed two other young children from her home and she never regained custody.


    The children, now adults, live in California, but don't have contact with their mother, he said. Their father has been interviewed by investigators. Some of the dead children had a different father, but it wasn't clear whether he had spoken with authorities.


    Poma refused to reveal the names of the surviving children, the two fathers or Miller's brother.


    Miller's brother got in touch with sheriff's deputies in August 2005 and they reopened the investigation. The case is being handled in Mendocino County because they had the most complete paper trail on Miller.


    Miller was solely responsible for the children's deaths and her brother won't face charges, Poma said.


    "We would never have this if he didn't come forward," Poma said.


    According to court records, Miller served probation in Oregon for passing a bad check in 1986. She also has a record of arrests in California and Oregon for minor offenses, including marijuana possession, harassment and driving with a suspended license.

    http://www.wjactv.com/news/10218746/detail.html
     
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  3. Shadow205

    Shadow205 New Member

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    To bad it took the brother 40 years to come forward :mad:
     
  4. cynpat2000

    cynpat2000 Former Member

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    I agree, 4 lives being took and he said nothing, I wonder why the authorities werent suspicious ?? a woman loses 4 kids and its not looked into ? sounds like they lived in boulder colorodo , that sounds incompetent.
     
  5. Trino

    Trino Active Member

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    Nice guy, the brother, eh? He knows four children were killed and chooses not to call authorities. Does he think he's some kind of hero 40 years later? Identical apples from the same tree.
     
  6. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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  7. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Name checked in Google. No results.
     
  8. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Hold the phone! I just discovered she is also known as Cheryl ATHENE Miller, and there's information on her under that name.

    More later, after I analyze the new material.
     
  9. Oblio

    Oblio Member

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    He could have been a minor or away from home when it happened. Maybe she didn't speak candidly about it until later, or maybe he figured he wouldn't put his parents though all of the anguish since his sister no longer had kids so he perceived her no longer a threat. None of the potential reasons excuse him entirely, but there really could be loads of reasons why he didn't open his mouth sooner.
     
  10. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    The materials I found indicate that the brother tried to report his nieces' deaths as suspicious, but other family members silenced him. The brother was a teenager at the time.

    And, FWIW, he was outraged when the prosecution fell through.

    Details later. I am still engaged in writing up this case.
     
  11. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Okay, the writeup promised in post #7 is in the next post down. There is some repetition of facts already given, but that is needed to make sense of what I found.
     
  12. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Cheryl Scott Miller
    alias Cheryl Athene Miller

    (Calculated) DOB: 23 June 1947

    In December 1965, Miller was living in the Dreamland Motel in Escondido, San Diego County CA, with her husband, Jerry Wade Scott. She gave birth to Sherri Mae Scott on 27 November. Miller already had a daughter a bit over a year old. That daughter, Carla Marie Scott, was medically fragile from her premature birth, having been treated for heart problems and a possible brain tumor in Salinas CA and Reno NV.

    Late on 7 December 1965, an ambulance carried 11-day-old Sherry Mae to Palomar Medical Center. She was DOA. According to an investigator with the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office, cause of death was determined to be acute hemorrhagic pneumonitis. In other words, inflammation and/or bleeding of the blood vessels in Sherri's lungs killed her.

    The family moved to a “stable address”. However, in January 1966, it was 14-month-old Carla's turn to arrive DOA at Palomar's emergency room. Her cause of death was determined to be aspiration pneumonia.

    (Comment: Two dead kids from same mom in same e-room a month apart, supposedly killed by the same disease, and no one noticed? Or is there some information missing here?)

    By the following year, Miller was living in Long Beach, Los Angeles County. She bore David Wayne Scott in January 1967. He died on 9 April 1967 of pneumonitis.

    On 18 May 1969, Miller gave birth to Kimberly Dale Scott. By 1970, Miller had moved north to the 6000 block North State Street, Calpella in Mendocino County CA to be near her mother. On 10 February 1970, 9-month-old Kimberly died. Miller's report to Mendocino authorities that three of her children had died previously evoked such suspicions that her remaining two children, born in Mendocino County, were permanently removed from her home. However, no charges were filed.

    In August 2005, Miller's brother called the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. As early as 1970, when he was a teen, the brother had tried to alert other family members that the kids' deaths were questionable, but they disbelieved him.

    Mendocino investigators began delving into old medical records. They also contacted one of the fathers of the children. (She had a boyfriend as well as, or after, her husband.) In February 2006, the detectives interviewed Miller and she confessed she had “killed them all in the same way.” The detectives continued their investigation. Later, they sent her a letter.

    The investigators traveled to San Francisco at the end of October 2006 with an warrant. They found Miller living alone in room 309 of the Cable Car Hotel and arrested her on 30 October. She was under psychiatric care and on medication at the time. Additionally, she had been self-medicating herself with booze and marijuana. She was unemployed, with her disability check going directly to her landlord, who chided her about keeping current on her meds.. She ate in soup kitchens. Occasionally, she drunkenly chucked her furniture out her apartment window.

    On 1 November, she was arraigned in Mendocino County Superior Court. As she was not assigned a public defender at that time, she did not enter a plea. Her next court date was set at 17 November. She was held under a high bail.* In December, she pled not guilty.

    Even though her brother had known about the deaths from about 1970, he was not charged with any offense. A Sheriff's spokesperson credited him with alerting them to the series of infant deaths.

    Miller was released from custody on 21June 2007. Miller's brother was appalled by her release; he believed she should be treated involuntarily for mental illness if necessary. Lintott stated that she hoped Miller could resume treatment for her delusional thoughts. Her landlord had also said that “under pressure, she (Miller) could say anything.”

    Mendocino County DA Meredith Lintott stated that Miller's confession was not borne out by any scientific evidence, so she was dropping the charge in Kimberly's case. Also, one of the confessions may have been retracted.

    For all four children, the cause of death was lung disease. According to the “Press Democrat”, two pathologists tasked to re-evaluate their deaths rendered differing opinions. However, “SFGate” and “The Ukiah Daily Journal”claim that forensic evidence of homicide was found by the investigating pathologists. The UDJ adds that despite forensic findings of homicide instead of accident, no official cause of death could be determined.

    MCSO had been the lead agency in the homicide investigation of all four deaths. Mendocino County had been carrying all the cases because they had the best paper trail. As the first three deaths had been in other counties, those charges were also dropped for lack of jurisdiction. After Lintott's dismissal of charges, Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to press their case against Miller because they lacked sufficient evidence for trial.


    Note: At some point, Miller served prison time for drug crimes committed in Del Norte County CA.

    * Either half a million, or two million dollars, depending on which source you believe.

    Sources:

    LA Times, 4 November 2006: http://articles.latimes.com/2006/nov/04/local/me-babies4

    Findagrave website: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/...=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=29010958&df=all&

    LA Daily News, 2 November 2006: http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20061102/mom-confesses-to-killing-4-of-her-babies-in-65-70

    Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 22 June 2007: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/csp/me...at/News/story.csp?cid=2162908&sid=555&fid=181

    SFGate, 23 June 2007: http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/MENDOCINO-COUNTY-Woman-who-said-she-killed-her-2585020.php

    Ukiah Daily Journal, 1 November 2006:
    https://www.newspapers.com/image/1278524/

    UDJ, 29 December 2006: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1277966
     

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