In 1989, Barbara Miller went missing in Sanbury, Pennslyvania after a fight with her boyfriend. She wanted to attend a wedding alone, and her boyfriend, Mike Egan, didn't want her to go.
Though Egan has always been the lead suspect in the case, he's never been charged. And he's always maintained his innocence in his girlfriend's disappearance.
Miller — who was declared dead 17 years after she went missing — has never been found.
Police have their eyes set on Egan, who is an ex-cop, because of the couple's history.
He served time in prison for receiving stolen property when he was a cop and was paroled in 1988. In the months before she disappeared, Miller complained about Egan to the police.
Just days before she went missing, she told her friends she was scared for her life.
Miller, who was 30 years old when she disappeared, had a teenage son at the time named Eddie. He was the one who originally told police about the fight between Miller and Egan. He also noticed that the morning after the fight, when Miller was supposed to attend a wedding, Egan was driving her car and noticed there was yellow clay on the tired, which could indicate concrete work.
Egan didn't report Miller missing until five days after she disappeared, and then he moved into her home.
That small detail, along with the new information, has led police to believe Egan killed his girlfriend, dismembered her body with a wood chipper and hid her remains inside the walls of his home.
This idea came after three people told police that Egan, who is now 59, would often get high on cocaine and drive past his sister's home to "visit his old lady." An informant told police that Egan's sister, Cathy Reitenbach, was one of the last people to see Miller alive.
She died in January.
The local police chief, who was encouraged by a local paper to look at the cold case again, found a tip from 209 that said Miller's remains were inside that house. A tip in 2004 alleged that "Egan put a body inside the wall of a home."
Apparently, a close friend of Reitenbach's once told someone that if they didn't pay a drug debt they owed him, they would "end up just like Barbara Miller did in Cathy's basement."
The home's current owners let investigators into the basement where they found "highly suspicious construction, including a concrete floor that was added on with what looked like hand-mixed concrete. The chief, Tom Miller, described it as "very peculiar."
Police brought cadaver-smelling dogs to the home in June, and they all separately alerted that human remains may be present in the basement. A chunk of cement was hauled from the basement, and this week, police announced that it contained wood chips.
They also located a metal barrel early in August while searching a pond near Miller's former home, but they aren't revealing what they found.
She was last seen by her friends at 8 p.m. the night she vanished. She was putting flowers from the wedding into her car and said she was going to change at home before meeting them out at a bar.
Thirty years later, the cold case still disturbs Miller's family and friends — who all still have no answers. In a June 2019 interview with The Lockport Journal, Lynn Miller, a relative of Barbara's said of the case, "We continue to hope and pray that something will give. We trust every law enforcement official and we can only hope this is still active. One way or another we just want to be able to have closure after all these years.”
Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, dating, relationships and everything in between.