Porter County Coroner Says a 52-year-old Woman and Her Estranged Husband were Found Shot to Death and Her House BurnedMay 31, 2011
KOUTS, Ind. — The Porter County coroner says a 52-year-old woman and her estranged husband were found shot to death and her house was fully engulfed in flames in what appears to be a murder-suicide.
Coroner Chuck Harris says a preliminary examination indicates that Cheryl Miller and 59-year-old Frederick Miller both died of gunshot wounds. He says an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Times of Munster and the Post-Tribune of Merrillville report that the couple's 19-year-old son escaped from the home in rural Kouts about 3 a.m. Tuesday after Frederick Miller threw a flammable device through a window in the house. The sheriff's department says the son called police and reported hearing several gunshots.
The sheriff's department says Frederick Miller was removed from the home by police in April.
Cheryl A. (Stevens) Miller, 52, of Kouts, passed away Tuesday, May 31, 2011. She was born October 10, 1958 in Valparaiso to Ronald N. and Margaret J. (Hineline) Stevens. She was a graduate of Valparaiso High School and had been the manager at Marti's Place at Ramsey's Landing in Hebron. Cheryl enjoyed designing and making jewelry as well as a variety of other arts and crafts, and she was an avid gardener. Survivors include her son, JJ Miller of Kouts; step daughter, Layla (Jeff) Morgan of San Diego, CA; her father, Ron Stevens of Valparaiso; one sister, Leslie (Bruce) Richart of Porter; two nieces, Rebecca (Anthony) Tharp and Annette Stevens; four nephews, Jeremiah, Joshua and Ryan Richart, and Travis Stevens. She was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret Stevens. A funeral service will be held on Saturday at 11:00 AM at Kosanke Funeral Home in Kouts with Pastor Jay Birky officiating. Visitation will be Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the "Benefit of JJ Miller" account at DeMotte State Bank.