Hundreds Help in Search for Missing Nun

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- Hundreds of volunteers turned out Friday to help search for the body of a nun missing since late last month.

Sister Angela Miller is believed to be the second victim in a murder and arson that also claimed the life of the murder suspect.

The search was unsuccessful. But, the police chief tells Newswatch 16 the efforts to find Sister Angela Miller are not over. What they need is a break in the case that gives them a better idea of where her body was taken.

Volunteers had hoped the search would bring closure.

According to Scranton Police, Miller and her sister, Rosemary Smith, were murdered last month by their nephew and son Alan Smith. Sister Angela's body has been missing for two weeks.

Their family members were humbled by all the help.

"They were always such loving women, and seeing all these people, you know they`ve touched so many people. It`s amazing," said Sister Angela's niece Laura Smith.

More than 300 volunteers gathered at McDade Park to help Scranton Police in a widespread search of west Scranton.

"I see that there are people from far and wide that have come a long way to help put this all to rest. That`s all we wish for," said volunteer Tiffany Cross Luciani.

The searchers broke up into about a dozen groups then boarded buses to designated search zones.



Scranton Police picked search zones because a couple different factors. First, they were looking for a place that would be easily accessible within a short period of time. Second, a place where Alan Smith could have concealed his movements.

Police said Alan Smith had a nine-hour window of time to hide Sister Angela's body. She could be anywhere.

Their search was unsuccessful. But, there was still hope.

"The sense of support from everybody, those who knew her and those who did not, is incredibly important to us and we`re so grateful," said Immaculate Heart of Mary President Ellen Maroney.

Angela's fellow sisters with the Immaculate Heart of Mary said that gratitude is getting them through.

"[I] wish that we had better closure, wish we did. But we know, we know somewhere we`re going to get through this. We know that," added Sister Ellen Maroney.

Scranton Police told Newswatch 16 that one of the search groups did find a bone, it is not related to this case, but it will be taken to a lab to be tested.

There are no immediate plans to search for Sister Angela again, but police said their work is far from over.

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