June 30, 2016

Mostly clear

Brunswick woman’s body found in central Ohio field

Dan Pompili and Loren Genson | The Gazette

A 42-year-old Brunswick woman reported missing Monday was found dead Tuesday about 100 miles from home.

The body of Chanda Miller was found by Delaware County sheriff’s deputies with help from Columbus police in a field near Ashley at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The cause of death is not clear, but officials said there was no evidence of foul play.

Miller was reported missing at 10:41 p.m. Monday by her mother, Laura J. Miller, of Marion Parkway.

Laura Miller told police she believed her daughter was in an altered mental state as a result of trauma from a few years ago. Laura Miller told police that Chanda left their home at about 10 a.m. and told her mother that people wanted to harm her and “she needed to get away from them.”

Laura Miller said her daughter had not been diagnosed with a mental illness, but believed Chanda was paranoid and suffered from a mental illness that was getting worse.

Brunswick police Sgt. Steven Hoover said his office “pinged” Chanda Miller’s cell phone, which indicated she was in Delaware County. Hoover said police then contacted the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.

Delaware Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tracy Whited said deputies found Miller’s car on state Route 229 near Strine Road in a rural northern part of the county.

Whited said the area was wooded and homes were far apart.

Authorities found Miller’s cell phone in her car, along with some other personal items. Deputies searched with flashlights for Miller all night, until the next shift came on and brought a dog.

“The dog picked up some scents but he kept losing them, because it was so windy,” Whited said. “So we asked Columbus police for helicopter assistance.”

Whited said the helicopter wasn’t in the air very long before officers spotted what looked like a body at the edge of a cornfield next to a wooded area, about a mile and a half away from Miller’s car.

Whited said deputies notified Brunswick police and were able to identify the body. Brunswick police then notified Miller’s family. Whited said authorities saw nothing to suggest foul play.

“It’s odd how this has unfolded, but both our detectives and the coroner drew the same conclusion,” she said. “There are no glaring signs or evidence of foul play.”

Whited said more information may be available after an autopsy is completed.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com. Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.