Evelyn Miller Murder Investigation: 4 Years Later

By Mark Geary, Reporter

FLOYD COUNTY – Five-year-old Evelyn Miller's has now been dead for nearly as long as she was alive.  The Floyd County girl disappeared on July 1, 2005.  A kayaker found her body in the Cedar River five days later.

"It wasn't a tornado. It wasn't a flood in 2005, but I think people feel and were touched by what occurred that summer,” Floyd County Deputy Sheriff Brian Tiedemann said.

Four years later, the apartment building where Evelyn Miller lived has become an ethanol plant. Even though the original crime scene is gone, authorities say the case still has a lot of momentum.

Exclusive Look Inside the Miller Apt. - Aug. 11, 2005


“It's always open. It's always active. You're always thinking about it,” Floyd County Sheriff Rick Lynch said.

"I'm 100 percent confident that someday, the person will be found,” Tiedemann said.

Yet, authorities still have not charged anyone for murdering the little girl.

"We don't have enough evidence to charge someone,” Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Agent Jeff Jacobson said.

Lynch said, "Everyone involved with the case is frustrated. But, we also have to do due diligence toward the case and the investigation because you don't want to be hasty. You don't want to charge anybody too soon."

The tragedy haunts the town of Floyd. Community members still place flowers and other mementos at a memorial statue dedicated to Evelyn in a local park.

"People still talk about it. People still ask questions,” Lynch said.

Evelyn's Memorial - July 2, 2006


Agent Jacobson says DCI does have a suspect or suspects in mind, but does not have enough evidence to press charges. “There are people we are looking at. That’s where I’ll leave it,” he said.
But, authorities won't reveal their prime suspect.

"We're plugging forward. We're having meetings. We're having sit-downs. We're having conversations. We're moving forward. It's really hard to give any more details because of the confidential nature of this investigation,” Lynch said.

Four years of gathering evidence, interviewing people and searching for clues has not discouraged investigators who spend time working on the case every day.

Tiedemann said, "As a law enforcement officer, you never give up. You're always in there to fight. You're always struggling."

Jacobson said, "I urge people that have any knowledge of this case...whether it makes sense to them or not...to call us and we'll make the decision about whether it means anything or not."

Until prosecutors finally charge someone for the murder, the search for Evelyn's killer will remain a top priority and an open wound in this tiny northeast Iowa town.
Authorities say Evelyn Miller's mother, Noel, has moved out of the state. Her father, Andy Christie, still lives in Iowa.

Evelyn's Father Talks - Sept. 22, 2005


In February 2007, prosecutors charged Danny Slick in for lying to federal agents about the murder investigation. Slick was a friend of Frederiksen and one of the last people to see Evelyn alive.

Noel's former fiancé Casey Frederiksen was arrested several years ago for child pornography. Last month, the U.S. Attorney's office also charged him for making methamphetamine from 2004 up until the time Evelyn vanished.

Authorities would not say if the meth charge has any connection to the murder investigation. They also would not discuss what kind of evidence they still need to charge someone for the murder of Evelyn Miller.

Floyd County Sheriff Rick Lynch says his department will use some new technology and equipment over the next few weeks that may help lead to a conviction. But, he would not elaborate any further.

 


Evelyn's Grandparents Talk about the Investigation


Richard and Linda Christie's lives changed forever when someone killed their beloved granddaughter Evelyn Miller back in 2005. "I feel numb. Four years later, I still feel numb,” Linda Christie said.

The Search for Evelyn - July 3, 2005
Four years of waiting for prosecutors to charge someone for the murder has taken an emotional toll on the family. "I used to be a lot happier than I am now. But, I'm still happy. It's just kind of muted,” Richard Christie said.

Linda Christie said, "I used to be more energetic. I used to enjoy life a little bit more. I feel like there's something missing. Part of my soul is missing."

The Christies believe authorities know who killed their granddaughter. The couple suspects Evelyn's mother's former fiance Casey Frederiksen may have something to do with Evelyn's death. 


Richard Christie said, "No matter who perpetrated the actual crime, I think your job as a parent is to keep your children safe and you can't keep your children safe. You don't have a right to have children in your home."

Linda Christie said, "If he is the one responsible for the death of my granddaughter, I will have my speech all ready at the sentencing."

Frederiksen Speaks Out - Sept. 15, 2005

No matter who is responsible, the Christies believe their granddaughter's murder will not go unpunished.

"There will be a judgement day...someday. Whether it occurs here or not, there's going to be a judgement day,” Richard Christie said.

Linda Christie said, "Somebody knows something. Somebody knows something."

In the meantime, memories of simple moments provide some comfort.

"Just having her sit on your lap, give you a hug. I have pictures of a lot of different hugs. You miss that,” Richard Christie said. Linda Christie said she misses "Having her say, 'Look here, grandma.' Or, 'Let's cuddle, grandma.'"

Richard Christie tries to focus on his happier times. "We had a good time together. I told her my car was a race car and she was smart enough to figure out that it wasn't. She said, 'Race cars have big numbers on the sides of them.' So, she was a smart little cookie," he said.

Evelyn's Birthday - Aug. 22, 2005



Until prosecutors formally charge someone, the Christies have no choice but to wait.

"Hopefully, I won't have to wait another year. But, this case will be solved,” Linda Christie said. Richard Christie believes "There's always justice. Justice always wins."
  

Authorities say Evelyn Miller's mother, Noel, has moved out of the state. Her father, Andy Christie, still lives in Iowa.

In February 2007, prosecutors charged Danny Slick in for lying to federal agents about the murder investigation. Slick was a friend of Frederiksen and one of the last people to see Evelyn alive.

Noel's former fiancé Casey Frederiksen was arrested several years ago for child pornography. Last month, the U.S. Attorney's office also charged him for making methamphetamine from 2004 up until the time Evelyn vanished.

Authorities would not say if the meth charge has any connection to the murder investigation. They also would not discuss what kind of evidence they still need to charge someone for the murder of Evelyn Miller.

 E-mail Mark Geary at Mark.Geary@kcrg.com or follow him on Twitter.

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