The Murder of Helen Marie Miller
Claire Elaina Miller, 14 stabbed her older sister, Helen Marie Miller, 19. Claire posted a series of strange photographs on the social media app, TikTok, following the murder of her sister who suffered from Cerebral Palsy.
Helen Miller was born on May 11, 2001, to Mark and Marie Miller. She has been described as a positive young woman with a gentle demeanor. She had lived with cerebral palsy, and for her, it was a debilitating medical condition. Her challenging condition meant that she was bound to a wheelchair and needed constant and continued support. Helen was also non-verbal.
The Discovery of Helen Miller
On February 22, 2021 at approximately 1:08 a.m., the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania 9-1-1 emergency dispatch received a telephone call from a 14-year-old female who stated that she had killed her sister by stabbing her. Manheim Township police officers responded to 1509 Clayton Road, Lancaster, PA. Upon arrival, Claire Miller, 14, met police in front of the residence. She told them she repeatedly stabbed her sister, Helen, while she slept. She stated her parents were asleep in the home. Miller further stated that they could find Helen in her bedroom. Police officers noted blood stains that covered her pants and the snow bank behind Miller, which was consistent with her attempting to use the snow to wash off her hands.
Officers entered the home and discovered a female in a bedroom. She was lying on her back with her arms bent, which placed her hands near her head. Her head was covered with a pillow. When police officers removed the pillow, they discovered a large kitchen knife protruding from her lower neck area. She had sustained multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest. Officers performed emergency first aid until emergency medical services arrived on scene.
The victim was rushed to an area hospital where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at 4:13 a.m. by the Lancaster County Deputy Coroner, W. Wayne Hopkins. He stated Helen had sustained 6 deeply penetrating stab wounds and ruled her death as a homicide.
Mark and Marie Miller, who had slept through the attack, were shocked to learn what had happened. They identified the victim as their daughter, Helen. They further identified the alleged perpetrator as their younger daughter, Claire.
Claire Elaine Miller was born to Mark and Marie Miller on May 18, 2006. She was a freshman student at the Lancaster Country Day School. It was reported that Miller spent a lot of her time alone in her bedroom and her favorite activity was spending time on social media, specifically the social app TikTok. She had a steady online following.
Over the course of the investigation, detectives learned that following the attack on Helen, Claire posted a series of TikTok’s. The images were of a bloody latex-type glove and a small stuffed animal. In the repeated images, Claire positioned the stuffed animal in different positions, which was a struggle to understand. Many of her followers posted responses in which they questioned her and the content she was posting. Her follower numbers swelled to over 11,000 new followers in just a few days, as a result of the confusing posts.
Arrest of Claire Miller
Claire Miller was arrested on February 22, 2022 for the homicide of her sister, Helen, in pursuance of the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa C.S. 6301. Miller’s attorney, Robert Beyer, attempted to have Claire tried as a juvenile, but that motion was refused.
Miller waved her right to a preliminary hearing, which is a hearing that normally occurs. She also waived her right to her arraignment and instead, simply entered a plea of not guilty. Miller has had a series of evaluations by several mental health professionals since her arrest, and all of their conclusions differ greatly. One evaluation suggested that she was “faking” a psychosis because of comments that she has made publicly, privately, online, and while in jail.
In June 2022, the court made its final determination that Claire Miller will be tried as an adult, believing that there would not be sufficient time for rehabilitation. They further added that if they released her from jail after satisfying the prerequisite of 5-years (21-years-old), she would be a danger to the community.
The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office stated, “Anyone charged with homicide in Pennsylvania is not eligible for bail. Claire Miller is being charged as an adult because homicide is not considered a delinquent act in Pennsylvania.”
Initially, Claire Miller was being held at the state prison in Muncy, Pennsylvania because they have a female juvenile unit on site, but she has been moved. Miller is presently being held at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center. A judge set her trial to begin in March 2023, but the exact date has yet to be announced. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is currently debating whether they will continue to support the death penalty. If they decide to honor that type of sentence, Miller may face death if she is found guilty.
Regarding her TikTok account, the social media company removed her account, but it has been reported that followers of Claire Miller saved and/or made copies of the content that she posted. This claim is unsubstantiated.
Prosecutors have not established a motive.