The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 28, 2014

Case of vanishing city woman hits 25

— SUNBURY — Even now, in coffee shops, businesses and the city library, people still remember the day when Barbara Elizabeth Miller, 30, went missing.

“I remember her very clearly,” said a librarian at Degenstein Library on Friday. “She lived a few houses away from me. It was big news back then. But I’ve never forgotten those days.”

Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of Miller’s disappearance, one that has never been solved.

“It was a very big deal at the time, said Paul Boyer, a retired community editor at The Daily Item who served as editor of the newspaper’s Milton bureau in 1989. “Still is,” he said. “We had reporters following the case, the investigation.”

Miller was born April 23, 1959. She stood 5 feet, 4 inches tall, weighed 125 pounds and had light brown hair and brown eyes.

According to Central Pennsylvania’s Missing Persons Connection, Miller was dropped off at a bar in Milton early July 1, 1989.

She was planning to attend a friend’s wedding later in the day and was carrying a gift, as well as her clothes, for the event. She apparently attended the ceremony and was photographed there, though some accounts state that she never arrived at the nuptials.

Miller is believed to have returned to her home in Sunbury during the early morning hours of July 2. Items she took from the wedding were found in her Sunbury residence that day, but there was no trace of her.

She had planned to attend a reception the next day, but never arrived.

Miller lived on Penn Street with a male at the time of her disappearance. He was the first person to report her missing.

She was never heard from again.

The investigation was reopened in 2002, and evidence suggests she was the victim of a homicide. Before she vanished, she had provided police with information about drug trafficking. Miller had received death threats that accused her of being a drug informant and advised her to stop talking to authorities. About two weeks before her disappearance, she told police the matter had been resolved and asked them to end their probe.

She was declared legally dead in Northumberland Court in 2002, leaving a young son behind.

Multiple searches were conducted for evidence, or her remains, including looking in caves along the Susquehanna River.

Authorities searched several mines in Lower Augusta Township as well during the years following her disappearance, and examined a pond near Trevorton in 2004, but found no evidence.

Investigators refused to divulge whether any evidence related to Miller’s case was ever recovered.

In 2008, two bones were found under a home at 154 Springhouse Road, a house once rented by former Sunbury detective Joseph “Mike” Egan, who lived there when his girlfriend, Barbara Elizabeth Miller, disappeared.

Contractors repairing the foundation of Cynthia Ladd’s home found the bones, later determined to be that of a cow.

The lead Sunbury police investigator at the time was Thomas Garlock, now chief in Selinsgrove. Attempts to reach Garlock on Friday were unsuccessful.

Anyone with information concerning Miller’s disappearance is asked to call Sunbury police at (570) 286-4587 or (570) 988-4539.


Text Only

Daily Blast