Still no suspect in murder of Goshen College professor

GOSHEN, Ind. – Goshen residents were left disappointed when police didn’t announce any arrests or any suspects in the brutal murder of Goshen College Professor James Miller at a press conference on Friday.  In nearly one week police say they’ve received “numerous” tips and have interviewed several persons of interest, but have failed to find the killer who beat and stabbed Miller to death during a home invasion early Sunday morning and badly injured his wife Linda.

“We have expended hundreds of man hours and utilized every available resource in this investigation,” explained Chief Wade Branson.  “We will continue to assign every available officer for patrolling our neighborhoods, and the detectives assigned to this case will continue to pursue the investigation.”

Police say they are certain of the composite sketch of the suspect they developed from Linda Miller’s description and that the suspect acted alone.  They also responded to the assertion that the sketch bears a resemblance to Chad Weddle, a man arrested by Elkhart County Sheriff’s Deputies on Monday in connection with numerous burglaries in Elkhart and possibly St. Joseph County.

“That is an individual that we have interviewed,” Chief Branson explained.  “But, the more press you guys give him as a suspect then everyone’s going to think he’s the person that did it, we have interviewed him.”

Branson explained that because the case is still under investigation there were view questions from the press he could answer.  But, he did provide how he believes James Miller ended up outside the home, dying in his driveway.

“He was in a struggle with the perpetrator,” Branson described.  “I’m guessing they fought their way out that way.”

Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman also spoke during the press conference, calling the murder an “assault” on the community.  He also expressed his “complete faith” in the police department.

“I know folks are disappointed that they couldn’t announce today that the person was caught,” Kauffman explained.  “But, they are still following leads and they are still looking.”

Kauffman and police officials repeated their warnings that Goshen residents should be cautious and mindful of their safety and security.

“We don’t want people to live in fear in Goshen,” Kauffman explained.  “But, this is a lesson that, even in a relatively low-crime community, things like this can happen.”

Goshen residents had been hopeful that Friday’s press conference would be an announcement of an arrest.

“I guess that just makes me feel uncomfortable still because I feel like they should have some sort of lead,” explained Grace Ispas, a sophomore at Goshen College who knew James Miller.  “I just wish that they could find someone that did something so terrible.”

Other residents expressed their concern that the killer may still be on the loose.

“It doesn’t surprise me, but you wish it was easier, that they could just go out and get the person,” explained Cathy Graber, owner of a café in downtown Goshen.

Police say they will continue to investigate the case round-the-clock.  They repeated their call for anyone with information on the case to call the Goshen Police Department or Michiana Crime Stoppers.

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