“He better hope that the police get hold of him before a lot of the guys around here, because they would just as soon tar and feather him and string him up,” Vera De Witt, president of a local non-profit raising money for a memorial for the girls, told NBC News.
De Witt said the slayings had shocked the town of 2,300 and generated “painful questions” for children. “Particularly,” she said, “little girls going home and asking, ‘Daddy, would you kill me, would you shoot me?’ ”
Two weeks before the bodies were found at the Miller home on Alpine Way, Shasta County sheriff’s deputies had been called to the house over a domestic dispute.
Sandy Miller told the officers that her husband was “abusive,” according to a U.S. Marshals affidavit. The deputies escorted Sandra Miller from her home and she drove more than 150 miles west to Humboldt County, where her family and her husband’s family live. But later the same day, Miller found her at a motel in Humboldt and “forced her to return” to Shingletown, according to the affidavit.
“He also threatened to kill her and their daughters if she left him again,” said the affidavit. “On the morning of the murders, Sandy Miller told her mother that she planned on telling Miller later that day she was leaving him.”
Just before 8 p.m. on May 7, someone at the Miller home called 911. A dispatcher heard a woman sobbing and loud banging sounds. Deputies who went to the house found the doors locked and Sandy and her daughters Shelby Ann, 8, and Shasta, 4, shot to death inside. Shane Miller’s gold 2010 Dodge Mega Cab pickup was missing.