When Laura Miller moved with her family to League City, Texas, she was looking forward to a brighter future in the new place. However, her dreams were dashed to the ground when she suddenly vanished on September 10, 1984. Netflix’s ‘The Texas Killing Fields’ takes the viewer through this surprising disappearance and chronicles how the teen’s body was discovered nearly two years later, in 1986. What’s worse is that when the officials recovered her remains from a remote field off Calder Road in the city, the deceased remains of several other women were located in the same area, giving the place the moniker of “The Texas Killing Fields.” So now, if you are intrigued by this incident and want to know how Laura died, we have you covered.
How Did Laura Miller Die?
Laura Miller was a lively and cheerful 16-year-old when she suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth. The truth is the family had relocated to League City in the hopes of her realizing her true potential amid city life. After all, she was an excellent student and pretty popular among her friend group; plus, she had big aspirations for her future, unaware that there was a tragedy waiting to happen. The youngster even shared an intimate bond with her family and was the light of her parents’ life, which is why they immediately panicked at the time of her disappearance, especially since Laura had a seizure problem and had to take her medications twice a day.
On September 10, 1984, Laura decided to step out of her house to use the pay phone at a nearby store. Although the store owner later claimed he’d seen her come in for the same, he mentioned nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and the teenager seemed perfectly fine. That’s because Laura had then stepped out of the store to seemingly return home, only never to be seen or heard from alive again. When she failed to return home even after an hour, her concerned father, Tim Miller, gathered a team of volunteers and began scouring through several local areas in search of his missing girl. The police were also involved but to no avail.
The authorities actually considered Laura a runaway at the time, assuring her father she would soon show up or call home. Eventually, though, in 1986, they came across a set of human remains in a remote marshy field off Calder Road in League City, Texas. The skeletal body was soon confirmed to be Laura’s, yet the horrifying part is that the 16-year-old’s body was the second one to be recovered from the same area. Unfortunately, due to the level of decomposition, the cause of her death could never be established.
Who Killed Laura Miller?
The initial investigation into Laura’s disappearance proved quite challenging as the police had no concrete leads or witnesses to work with. Yes, the store owner’s statements were essential, but nobody else spotted the teenager in the moments before she vanished. Moreover, when investigators interviewed her acquaintances, most insisted that she was extremely amicable and loved making new friends. As a result, she reportedly did not have a lot of enemies, and no immediate suspect came to anyone’s mind.
In the meantime, Laura’s father learned how another League City girl, Heide Fye, had gone missing in 1983. Her remains were actually located in the remote field off Calder Road in 1984, months before Laura had disappeared, yet Tim was convinced that the two girls’ cases were connected. Although officials initially refuted such a claim, they couldn’t avoid the possibility when the former’s remains were found in the same area nearly two years later, even if there were no clues leading to a possible suspect. However, they soon zeroed in on local resident Robert Abel as a suspect since he owned the ranch near the Texas Killing Fields and matched the overall profile of what the killer might be like. The former NASA engineer denied all involvement but seemingly died by suicide in 2005, leaving a lot of questions unanswered.
This horrific homicide thus saw no progress until 2013, when Clyde Edwin Hedrick, also a local League City resident at the time, was arrested for the murder of Ellen Beason, who’d vanished in 1984. That’s because his cellmates soon came out to reveal he’d confessed to raping Laura before killing her. Furthermore, his ex-wife stated he’d once returned home with a bloody knife and asked her to get rid of it. However, because all this evidence was largely circumstantial, Clyde was only convicted of manslaughter in Ellen’s death in 2014 — he has never even been charged with Laura’s murder.
With that said, Tim Miller continues to believe Clyde is responsible for brutally slaying his daughter, which is why he even filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the now-convicted felon. What’s more, though, is that he actually won this case in 2022 and was awarded $24 million. It’s also imperative to note that according to the Netflix original series, Laura was afraid of the latter, who was their neighbor at the time in 1984. Interestingly, some reports claim Tim himself was a suspect in Laura’s murder for a while, and it seems like the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office retained some of the victim’s remains instead of handing them over to the family. This made the father file another lawsuit against the office, yet the result of that is still unclear.
Even since Laura disappeared, Tim has been helping in the search for other missing people through his organization, Texas EquuSearch, because he knows exactly what it feels like to be on the other end. Therefore, to this day, he has worked hard to recover/locate over 400 individuals who had suddenly vanished. On the other hand, we should mention Clyde is no longer behind bars as he was granted parole on a technicality in October 2021.