Twelve years ago today, authorities discovered the body of Peggy Miller in her burned out car in St. Francois County. Her home in nearby Iron County had been set on fire.
St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock said over the years, his department and Iron County Sheriff’s Department have investigated hundreds of leads, sometimes involving the same people. Sometimes it’s the same information, slightly different.
Unfortunately, after all these years, the family has no answers and there has been no arrest.
Bullock said few leads come in any more. The case, admittedly, is on the back burner now but it is not a “cold case” and it is not forgotten. They investigate when any leads come in and as detectives have time.
For those working on the case, it’s not just about a mystery to be solved. Bullock said it is about a woman who was murdered horribly.
Bullock still thinks someone out there knows what happened or has information that can help. He believes more than one person was involved in her murder.
After all these years, he asks anyone with information or anyone who was in the area of Route W and Highway 21 that day to contact the department with information, no matter how insignificant.
Bullock encourages people to call the department at 573-431-2777.
Firefighters were called to Miller’s home at the intersection of Route W and Highway 21 early the morning of Sept. 22, 2002. Her house had been set on fire.
Her body was found in her burned-out car on Indian Creek Road not far from the Iron County line.
Police believe the fires were set at about the same time and they don’t know which fire was set first. Most evidence was destroyed in the fire.
Investigators have not determined where Miller was killed — whether it was in Iron County or St. Francois County. Because they don’t know exactly where the crime occurred, the Iron County Sheriff’s Department is also investigating the murder, as well as the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Investigators do know the cause of death but aren't sharing it with the public for investigative reasons. They have released that she died before her car was set on fire.
Investigators have said they believe more than one person was involved in the murder and that these people are familiar with the area. They say going to Miller’s home seems random and unplanned as there is no clear motive.
What police thought was an unusual gas can found at her house and a phone call made at 1 a.m. from her house to an elderly woman in Richland haven’t netted much in the investigation.
Family members have said Miller was not the type of person to make enemies or put herself in contact with people who would commit horrendous crimes.
She worked part time at Parkland Health Center, attended church at First Baptist Church in Pilot Knob and was active in her grandchildren’s lives.
There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Miller’s death.