Investigators in Cold-Case Murder Finish Digging in Milton

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MILTON -- Investigators working on a 28-year-old cold case in Northumberland County finished digging Tuesday afternoon in Milton.

Crews spent close to a week digging and gathering evidence. They were looking for the remains of former Sunbury resident Barbara Miller.

Investigators won't say what they found, but they are sending evidence to a crime lab.

Investigators looked over the property on North Front Street in Milton one more time before they left the house for good. After close to a week of gathering evidence in the cold case homicide of Barbara Miller, they wrapped up this part of the investigation.

Miller disappeared in July of 1989 and her body was never found.

Last month, Sunbury police got a tip that Miller's body was inside the walls of that house in Milton.

"You know how they say a new set of eyes made a difference, and we're just keeping our fingers crossed and hopefully they find it so we can get an answer to it," said Sunbury Mayor Dave Persing.

Mayor Persing is happy the case was reopened. He and Sunbury council members toured the site of the investigation to see what is going on. Persing says Sunbury is responsible for paying for the work and cleanup.

"We're not doing anything that we don't have to do to run up that cost. We're hoping it stays to a minimum. Between insurance, we'll be alright with it."

Persing does not know what the investigation will cost but says a lot of people volunteered their time and did work for free.

"A lot of local people and a lot of people from the area who have come in and joined up with us and they're as interested in anyone else is in getting a solution to this," the mayor said.

But while Sunbury police officers are in Milton, some residents are concerned about who is on patrol in Sunbury.

"It's not like we have shifts that nobody's covering it," said Persing. "We have a list of part-timers now that we use, so we're covered in the city of Sunbury."

Everyone who spoke with Newswatch 16 tells us they are not upset that Sunbury taxpayers are footing the bill.

"I think any cold case deserves to be solved if they can. There's people out there who care about her that would like answers so they have to follow up on whatever leads they can," said John Simeone of Sunbury.

According to Sunbury Police Chief Tim Miller, a cleanup crew will be in Milton Wednesday to reconstruct what was taken apart during the investigation.


  • Sammy

    Why did previous Sunbury chiefs of police not look into a Sunbury police department database on this case since 2009?

  • RicU.

    This has to be an immense embarrassment to the FBI and the police agency here. Despite assurances cadaver dogs could find the remains of the deceased, nothing was found. I wonder why the exercise was even under undertaken. The FBI didn’t find Jimmy Hoffa, Hillary’s missing emails or the Lone GunmEn from the Kennedy assassinations. Not the compromised integrity of an innocent persons home is compromised. I would like to see the settlement on this lawsuit.

      • Fredric

        This article would have reference boxes or bags being removed. You would have seen or heard of suits and/or gurneys carrying containers or such out. Law enforcement puts on a show when they want people to think evidence has been found.

        Further, the report said the wall would be closed up by tomorrow night. Had something been found the wall would remainded open.

        Jimmy Hoffa is still resting undisturbed.

    • TheWizard

      The FBI never looked for Hillary’s deleted emails, so it’s not surprising they didn’t find them.

      • Fredric

        Comey, then head of FBI, said the FBI did an exhausted search for those. You mean Comey lied last fall?

  • Bill K

    I’d like to know why Chief Miller didn’t pursue the many unsolved murders in Williamsport when he was Chief of Police there.

  • MMMM

    I know the search had to be done but………… Is the house going to be structurally sound since a wall has been removed?

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