Sunbury Council Wants Funding for Barbara Miller Cold Case in 2019 Budget

SUNBURY, Pa. -- In Northumberland County, as the city of Sunbury works to finalize its budget for 2019, officials say funding is being specifically set aside for a cold case investigation.

Barbara Miller was last seen in 1989. Police have believed for years she was murdered.

At Sunbury City Hall, officials are preparing to finalize the city's budget for 2019 which must be approved by the end of next month.

“I believe it's the end of November. We have another budget meeting at the end of this month, but we bring it to council the first week of November,” said council member Chris Ries.

But one thing council is determined to do is to have $15,000 set aside in the budget to be dedicated to any money needed in regards to the Barbara Miller cold case investigation.

Currently, the 2018 budget includes that funding.

Council feels it’s important to continue that line item for next year.

“Even from the very beginning, I have been supporting this investigation because everyone deserves an answer,” said Mayor Kurt Karlovich.

“The family deserves it. The people involved deserve it. We've gotten this far. We don't want to stop now,” said Ries.

Barbara Miller was last seen in Sunbury in 1989, and it's been long believed by investigators she was murdered.

The last break in the case was back in May when then-Police Chief Tim Miller received an anonymous letter that was addressed: "HURRY DELIVER ASAP" and "ATTN BARBARA MILLER CASE."

Since then, nothing more has come up.

The mayor says the city wants to keep funding for Miller's cold case in the budget so that if something does come up, the city won't have to cover unforeseen costs.

“With these types of investigations, you never know what's going to pop up. One answer might led to more investigations and more costs for the city, and it's just better to be safe than sorry,” said Karlovich.

“We don't know if we'll need it or not,” said Ries. “We don't know if that is going to even be something that's going to come back up, but just in case the investigation moves further and they need some money, we have some there for them.”

Sunbury's treasurer says there was $20,000 set aside in this year's budget for Miller's cold case, but the city only used about $400 to $500 of that money.