New hope in Tulsa cold case

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 11/05/2013 6:32 pm Published: 11/05/2013 5:04 pm

Tulsa police are now investigating the 56th homicide of the year.

They've solved 43, but the rest remain open.

As they work around the clock to solve those, there are still 207 cold cases dating back as far as 1949 that remain unsolved.

FOX23's Ian Silver looked at a 23-year-old cold case and found there's new hope there could soon be a break in the case.

Latreece Miller was only 15 when she was murdered.

A year earlier she started running with a rough and much older crowd and in the spring of 1990 she ran away from home.

It was the last time her mother, Shelia, saw her alive.

"She was really a happy … you know, a happy girl. She liked to joke a lot," she said.

But, just like her mother, Latreece Miller's greatest passion and talent was singing.

For months after Latreece Miller ran away, Shelia did all she could to bring her daughter home.

"She eventually called me. And I asked her to come back home. And she said, 'Mama, I'll be alright.' and I knew she wouldn't," Sheila Miller said.

Soon detectives were knocking on her door.

"'We found a young lady that fits the description of your daughter, is this her?' and they pulled out a picture, showed me the picture, and it was her," she said.

A sight forever burned into her mind.

"Very vividly, I know exactly the way it looked, because she was shot in the head from the side and it blew off part of her ear," she said.

Sheila Miller buried her daughter, and all of her emotion about the loss.

"It's hard to talk about it, because I wish, there was something I could have done," she said.

Sheila Miller began to give up hope for any resolution and the investigation went cold.

"Well, they said they were investigating. But I don't know what all, they said they didn't come to no leads," she said.

Tulsa police homicide Detective Eddie Majors said Latreece Miller's homicide is one of the hardest kinds to solve.

His full-time job is to investigate the more than 200 murder cases that have gone cold over the years.

"We don't work for the victim, we work for the families. Our job is to try to solve these cases, and we'll do everything in our power that we can," he said.

That led to new leads that are warming up this cold case.

"There's been some recent work done on that case. With the OSBI and a grant for DNA we sent some articles to be re-tested," he said.

The new developments help strengthen the so-called "armor of faith" Sheila Miller has built in the 23 years since her daughter's murder.

"I pray that he gets the justice, because he's really escaped of what he should have been paying. God will bring justice, whether it be in my lifetime or someone else's. Someone will have to adhere to what they've done," she said.

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