Teen Accused of Killing Disabled Sister as Parents Slept

Pilar Melendez
·3 min read

A Pennsylvania teenager is facing charges after allegedly fatally stabbing her older sister—then hysterically calling 911 to confess to the crime.

Claire Elaina Miller, 14, has been charged with homicide after calling authorities on Feb. 22 to admit she stabbed her older sister, 19-year-old Helen Miller, while her parents were asleep, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office. The elder Miller, who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair, died from a stab wound to her neck.

“I stabbed my sister,” Miller repeatedly told police when they arrived at the house. Since Miller is being charged as an adult, she was denied bail during a Monday arraignment.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, the Manheim Township Police Department arrived at the home just after 1 a.m. to find Miller, a ninth-grader at a local private school, standing in front of the house close to “what appeared to be blood on the snow near the driveway.”

“Miller appeared to be attempting to wash her hands in the snow,” the affidavit states, adding that the teenager also had blood on her pants.

Police say Miller directed them into her older sister’s bedroom, where Helen was found with a “pillow with blood stains” over her face. One of the officers removed the pillow and “found a large knife in Helen’s neck, just above her chest.”

“Helen was lying on her back with her hands up near her head,” the affidavit states, adding that there was a “large amount of blood” pooled near her chest and bed. Lifesaving measures were “unsuccessful” and she was pronounced dead at 4:13 a.m.

On Wednesday, the coroner’s office released an autopsy report confirming Helen Miller died from multiple stab wounds. Authorities also confirmed to The Daily Beast that the 19-year-old had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair.

Police say the girls’ parents were asleep during the incident that has sent shockwaves through the small Pennsylvania community about 75 miles west of Philadelphia.`

“When I heard about this I was almost instantly upset about it myself over the details that had been related to me,” Manheim Township Police Chief Tom Rudzinski told WHTM. “I don’t know that I have ever been a part of something that is quite as sad as this.”

Prosecutors and police, however, have not offered any details about a motive. An attorney for Miller did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.

“The investigators are going to be asking those types of questions, conducting those interviews of everybody that was involved, and trying to determine a timeline [for what] would have led to this awful event,” Rudzinski said.

Lancaster Country Day School officials confirmed to The Daily Beast that Miller was a ninth-grade student at the school of about 550 students. “As a tight-knit school community, we are of course shocked and saddened by this tragic event and are focused on supporting one another,” a school spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the Manheim Township School District confirmed that Helen Miller received educational services from a school within the district.

“We were so saddened to learn of Helen’s tragic and unexpected passing,” the district said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the Miller family. This is a devastating tragedy.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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