Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
On May 24, 2007, Oregon authorities began searching the motorhome of a missing McMinnville couple which had been left abandoned for the last year. Kenneth Miller and his companion of 30 years, Betty Lou Japel, are currently classified as endangered missing since an acquaintance, Gregory Allen Cole, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on May 23, 2007 in Arizona.
When police searched Cole's motorhome, they found that it's license plates were registered to a pickup truck belonging to Japel and Miller. The truck was later found abandoned in Montana.
Cole had been the subject of a state-wide manhunt after he fired at and wounded an Arizona police officer on May 19. He was a survivalist and had a reputation of being anti-law and anti-government, according to cops. His link to the missing couple has authorities in two states worried for Miller and Japel's safety.
Family members told authorities that it was unusual to hear from the pair since Miller and Japel enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle, preferring the open road in their RV. When Cole's remains were discovered in Arizona, detectives in Oregon began searching their motorhome which was left abandoned last year on Bureau of Land Management land. In that motorhome, authorities found photographic evidence of Miller, Japel, and Cole spending time together.
Police say the last signs of activity on the couple's bank account was in Summer 2006, but aren't releasing further details. While there is currently a search in the rural, central Oregon area where Japel and Miller's motorhome was left, law enforcement officials are asking for the public's assistance in locating the missing couple.
On June 6, 2007, Oregon State Police detectives tentatively identified the remains as those of 73-year-old, Kenneth W. Miller. The remains were found by a detective while searching a section of property east of Redmond, Oregon.
Detectives and two National Guard members searched the remote area where a missing couple's motor home was found in mid-2006. During the search, a shallow, partially unearthed grave site was found and dug revealing the remains of an adult man tentatively identified as Miller.
An autopsy was scheduled for early next week to help confirm identification and determine cause of death. The whereabouts of Miller's longtime companion, Betty Lou Japel, are still unknown
Above Images: Kenneth Mill
Above Images: Gregory Cole
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: