close
close

Cops Shoot Down Rumors in Detailing Suicide of South Carolina Pastor’s Wife

North Carolina cops released a statement Tuesday detailing evidence supporting that Mica Miller, the wife of a South Carolina preacher, took her own life last month—tamping rumors suggesting her estranged husband may have been involved.

Loved ones of Miller, 30, claimed in court documents this weekend that she was abused by her ex, John-Paul Miller, and that she’d eerily warned previously that if a bullet was found in her head, it was the doing of her former partner.

In a news release Tuesday, however, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office said that a slew of security footage and a 911 call, in which she told an operator she was about to kill herself, showed that Mica died by suicide and not foul play.

“While I know it’s not what many people wanted to hear, the evidence is quite clear and compelling, and we are as saddened as anyone that this occurred,” said Sheriff Burnis Wilkins. “There are many factors that we have reviewed that occurred over an extended period of time that are probably related to the reason for this investigation, but in the end, unfortunately, a tragic decision was made by Mica that ended her life.”

Among the footage that bolstered John-Paul’s alibi, cops said, was proof that he was attending a sporting event in Charleston with another woman he was in a romantic relationship with, including timestamped photos of his truck on the interstate in the opposite direction of North Carolina. Other footage showed Miller purchasing a gun from a pawn shop—the same weapon found near where her lifeless body was found hours later inside a state park an hour north of her home in Myrtle Beach.

Mica Miller, dressed in all black, buys a handgun from a pawn shop.

Mica Miller bought a handgun just hours before using it to kill herself, police said.

Robeson County Sheriff’s Office

Miller’s death had garnered national attention, particularly after John-Paul’s announcement of her passing—a day later, in front of his parishioners after delivering a normal sermon—appeared to be casual given the gravity of the situation.

“I got a call late last night, my wife has passed away,” he said in that announcement. “It was self-induced and it was up in North Carolina.

“She had struggled with suicide before. Each time we would help her through it and take her to the doctor, and we got through it and everything was fine. She even gave a few testimonies here at church that we have on video. She battled suicide, but God took care of her and got her through it.”

He added that Mica Miller “wasn’t well mentally” and was in need of medicine that was “hard to get to her.” He never mentioned her by name and instructed church-goers to not discuss the matter inside the building, which only added to suspicions. Solid Rock Church in Myrtle Beach, where John-Paul preached, had suspended him by Monday, ABC 15 reported. The church’s website was also taken down.

Mica Miller’s sister, Sierra Francis, wrote in a motion to become the administrator of her estate that the 30-year-old was abused by John-Paul and that she said “on many occasions” that, “’If I end up with a bullet in my head, it was JP.’”

A medical examiner said Monday that Miller died from a bullet wound to the head, but specified that it appeared to be self-inflicted. It clarified that the bullet did not go through the back of her head, as rumors suggested.

In her motion, Francis noted that her sister was “hopeful” for a future without John-Paul and that she’d filed for divorce from him earlier this year.

Miller’s final posts on Facebook provided a glimpse into her wellbeing, with the former step-mom-of-five posting eerie captions in her final weeks. That included the last photo she ever posted on April 9, a selfie, being captioned, “When terrible terrible TERRIBLE things happen to you… (y’all know what I’m talking about) RPF: resting peace face.”

She posted photos of herself being baptized in the ocean a little over a week earlier, tagging a South Carolina church different from where her husband preached—the same institution she’d been a youth and worship leader at for years. On March 22, she posted a video in which she discussed “leaving a dangerous situation.”

Cops said a search of Miller’s search history revealed she Googled “National parks near me” on the day of her death, which returned a result for Lumber River.

Police said Tuesday that someone called 911 to report that they heard someone crying and a gunshot. Not long after that, another individual inside Lumber River State Park called police to say they’d found a woman’s body lying in the river. A GoFundMe for Miller raised $12,000 by Tuesday afternoon.

“This incident has garnered much attention from across the Carolinas and beyond. I want to assure everyone that a very methodical investigation was conducted,” said Wilkins. “Unfortunately, rumors and conspiracy theories were spreading quickly, and assumptions were being made. However, in the end, we must make decisions based on the facts, and evidence that has been gathered.”

If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing or texting 988.