Alleged Rapist Arrested, Facing Variety of Charges
Missouri authorities report a local man is in custody on a variety of charges today, in connection with an attack which prompted a three-county manhunt.
According to published reports, and information from the Missouri Highway Patrol, Heath B. Miller, 35, of Rector, was arrested near Grandin, Mo., on Saturday, March 18. He's facing multiple charges, including first degree rape, first degree kidnapping, first degree assault and armed criminal action.
According to Ripley County Sheriff Mike Barton, the suspect was located about 4 p.m. near the Bay Nothing River Access. At the time he described Miller as being tired and dirty, but uninjured, after eluding authorities for over a week. He was taken into custody without incident, after authorities used dogs and a helicopter to track him down. Officials had been alerted to his presence in the area by a game camera, which had captured his image the previous Monday.
The search for Miller began around mid-day on Wednesday, March 8, as a woman notified authorities she had been allegedly attacked by the suspect at her home at Kennett. According to court documents, the woman reported she had been at her house when she was physically attacked and raped by Miller, who is the father of her child.
The woman told authorities she, and her 17-month-old child, were later transported from Kennett to a location in Ripley County, where she was able to escape and alert law enforcement. After interviewing the victim, the manhunt for Miller began involving the MSHP, Ripley and Carter county sheriff's offices, Missouri Department of Conservation, United States Forest Service and Missouri Department of Corrections.
According to reports, warrants for his arrest were issued on March 8, in both Ripley and Dunklin counties.
Following his arrest, Miller now faces a total of eight felony charges in Dunklin County, including felony rape or attempted rape, sodomy or attempted sodomy, assault, kidnapping and three counts of armed criminal action. Charges from Ripley County included rape or attempted rape, two counts of armed criminal action and second degree kidnapping.
Miller, who at last report remained in custody in Missouri was also a suspect in a breaking and entering case in Ripley County from March 13, in which he allegedly entered a home and stole a handgun.
At last report he remained held in lieu of $250,000 on the charges from Dunklin County and on $100,000, cash only bond, for the offenses in Ripley County, and was expected to appear in court on Wednesday in Doniphan.