Man charged in '86 cold case murder - WKRN News 2

Man charged in '86 cold case murder

Posted:
John Miller John Miller
Betty Thomas Betty Thomas
JACKSON, Tenn. -

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has charged a 47-year-old man with first degree murder and first degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping in a 1986 cold case murder that occurred in Lexington, Tennessee.

Authorities said John Miller called 32-year-old Betty Thomas on March 14, 1986 and asked her to meet him at an area pizzeria.

Family members reported Thomas left her home around 11:45 a.m. and was never seen again.

Her 1971 Ford LTD was found abandoned at the restaurant a short time later.

Thomas' body was discovered by hunters on December 25, 1986.

An autopsy revealed Thomas died as a result of her throat being cut.

Authorities reported a witness called the Henderson County Sheriff's Department in January and stated that Miller had confessed to killing Thomas.

Last month, a second witness provided a statement to TBI agents regarding overhearing a phone conversation that Miller made prior to Thomas' disappearance detailing his plans to kidnap her.

The relationship between Miller and Thomas remains unknown.

Miller was charged with aggravated robbery in Carroll County in 1986 and received a 40-year sentence.

He was out on bond for the robbery when Thomas went missing.

He was paroled in 1995 and was arrested in Illinois on robbery and burglary charges which resulted in the revocation of his parole.

Miller is currently jailed in Morgan County on charges unrelated to Thomas' death.

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