A Texas father who has devoted his life to helping people find their missing loved ones, has spent the last three decades working on the most excruciatingly painful case of all; the murder of his own daughter. Through his extensive work, he believes he has identified her killer, The Guardian reports.
In 1984, Miller’s 16-year-old daughter, Laura, was abducted and murdered in League City, Texas, located along Interstate 45 between Houston and Galveston. To this day, nobody has been charged in the teen’s murder.
Miller wasn’t confident in the efforts made by local authorities so he founded Texas Equusearch in August 2000, with a mission “to provide Volunteer Horse Mounted Search and Recovery for Lost and Missing persons,” according to the non-profit recovery team’s website.
To this day, the organization has reportedly assisted in finding more than 400 missing people alive and the recovery of 238 bodies. Miller has become so successful in his efforts to help others that law enforcement agencies and families from across the globe have gone to Texas Equusearch for assistance, the website states.
Tragedy struck Miller’s family on September 10, 1984, when Laura left home to use a payphone at a local gas station. Being new to the neighborhood in League City, the family didn’t yet have phones set up, and Laura wanted to call her boyfriend. This fateful day would tragically be the last time Miller’s beloved daughter would be seen alive.
Over 30 women have been murdered or disappeared under mysterious circumstances along I-45, leading to the nickname “Highway of Hell.” The crimes became so notorious that true crime writer, Kathryn Casey, wrote a book about the murders, entitled, “Deliver Us.”
Six months after Laura’s disappearance, a human skull, belonging to Heidi Fye, was dug up by a dog in an oil field of League City. In an eerie twist, Fye vanished in 1983, after using the same exact payphone as Laura.
Miller urged authorities to look at possible connections between his daughter’s case and Fye’s, but he told The Guardian that authorities didn’t take him seriously.
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In 1986, authorities found another woman’s remains, who has yet to be identified, only a few hundred feet from where Fye’s remains were discovered. During a search of the field, authorities found Laura’s remains only 60 feet from the unidentified remains.
At this point, Miller became convinced that there had to be a connection between his daughter, Fye, and the Jane Doe victim. This is where a neighbor of the Miller family comes into play.
Miller told The Guardian that Clyde Hedrick, who lived across the street, “knew his daughter and sometimes talked to her when she passed his house,” adding that “one time she and some friends even apparently visited his house to buy pot.”
A year after Laura’s murder, Hedrick found himself in legal trouble when he was convicted of abusing a corpse. He reportedly told authorities that he had been swimming with a woman named Ellen Beason, when she suddenly drowned. He allegedly told police he hid Beason’s body in a panic after realizing she had died.
However, authorities discovered Beason she died of blunt force trauma to the head after they exhumed her body. In April 2013, police arrested Hedrick for the woman’s murder. He pleaded not guilty, according to ABC, but a jury convicted Hedrick of involuntary manslaughter, with a punishment of 20 years in prison.
Miller found the cases to be all too similar, and told The Guardian he felt “as though it was Clyde from the very beginning and now he has been convicted in Ellen’s death.”
“I have no doubt in my mind that Clyde is responsible for Laura, Heidi, and Jane Doe’s deaths. And I will continue to fight to get him indicted and convicted in their deaths.”
To this day, Hedrick denies any involvement in the deaths of the three women.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline for as additional information becomes available.
[Feature photo: Laura Miller/Handout]