Memories of Evelyn Miller

This blog is dedicated to the memory of our granddaughter, Evelyn Celeste Miller. Evey went missing July 1st and her body was recovered July 6th from the Cedar River near Floyd, Iowa. This venue will help celebrate the wonder that she was and also post up-to-date information on the wait for justice. If you have any information about the crime please contact the Floyd County Sheriff's Office at 1-641-228-1821 or e-mail me directly.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Child is Dead and Silence Reigns

Public needs answers on criminal probe, DHS actions.
By Register Editorial Board

July 23, 2005

The murder of 5-year-old Evelyn Miller in Floyd County is both a heartbreaking tragedy and a frustrating mystery, and the absence of public information has a rural community on edge.

Authorities have kept a lid on details, and rumor and speculation have flooded into the void.

The public has a legitimate interest in two aspects of this case: There is the continuing criminal investigation, and as many details about that as possible should be made public now. Then there are questions about the state Department of Human Services' involvement with Evelyn and her caretakers, which ultimately deserves a full airing as well.

Tight-lipped law-enforcement authorities say they simply don't have much information to report, and it's still an active investigation. Fair enough. It is a delicate balance to pursue a criminal case in a fishbowl. But in a case such as this, where public apprehension and suspicions grow each day, authorities have a responsibility to be as forthcoming as possible. That does not appear to be the case so far.

Questions also have been raised about whether DHS properly responded to reported concerns about Evelyn's welfare. Her relatives have accused the department of failing to protect her. That brings to mind the case of Shelby Duis, who was beaten to death in 2000. That case led to changes in state law intended to bring more scrutiny to the state's handling of cases of child abuse that lead to the death or near death of a child. The changes clearly did not go far enough.

Gov. Tom Vilsack reviewed the department's case file under a new state law passed in the wake of Shelby's death. He issued a statement saying he found no "evidence that suggested or indicated that this child was at risk to be abducted or injured, or that additional action on the part of the DHS was warranted."

At the same time, DHS officials have initiated an assessment of the agency's actions, which is due to be completed by Aug. 1. That DHS report will ultimately be released to the public - but only after law-enforcement authorities give the go-ahead. At the earliest, that likely would come after completion of any criminal trial, and possibly never.

Law-enforcement authorities understandably want to avoid public disclosures that might interfere with their investigation. Eventually, however, whenever neglect or abuse leads to the death of a child, the public should know all the details to judge whether the state did everything in its power to prevent the tragedy. It is not enough that the governor issues vague statements or that the department is allowed to put its own spin on its conduct.

When a child is dead, after the initial criminal prosecution is completed, it's hard to think of a reason why all DHS records in the case should not be made public. The Legislature should change the law to ensure that happens.


At 11:32 PM, Blogger l_r_c said...

In the Evelyn Miller case I have but 1 question, the fact that the govener said Evey was in no harm, why were her mother's other children taken away? What circumstances have changed, exept that now the would be more protective and responsable????
Over 12 reports?? what worker would have missed that?? Only hers. I have always feared that someone would make a call to DHS about me, but not anymore. They clearly do not do their job. I just want to know why they get a paycheck every week when they are not doing what they were hired to do, protect innocent child who have to live in abusive neglectful homes. That whole under-payed, over-worked crap is not cutting it anymore.

At 3:29 AM, Blogger chris said...

why would someone call dhs on you l_r_c ? unless you did some thing wrong. did you? if you said no you did nothing wrong but are still worryd some one would call wouldn't you be saying that false reports and the like are an ongoing kind of thing there? and if so wouldn't that mean that all the calls to dhs in the miller family could have been a big giant horses ass of getting revenge on your nieghbors for things like spray painting dogs or not sharing there dope? maybe there are no abusive neglectful homes in that area and therefor no need for that coc#suc$ing dhs to evan be in that town. and maybe thats why they make this shit up so they can stay like the 10 extra police officers we have and don't need any more since the reason they were there in the first place are all dead or in jail ie the nuggets

At 3:34 AM, Blogger chris said...

well i think too that everyone is a suspect: like this grandpa christie character, he could be the sick old man like the btk killer and hes so interested in this case and what the police know and wanting to know about the dhs file and he knew about casey and noels rocky past and he could have munipulated the oppertunity and got his greasy hands on her hes like infatuated, i mean he totally fits the profile that he so elegently wants you to look at on the missing and exploited and he has info on other crimes the like as if he were studying up on it and on and on


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