A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.
Tue, 14 Jun 2022 07:00
An innocuous card game raises a mom’s suspicions about her daughter’s boyfriend.
If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. I lost my voice that day. And I try hard to have these interviews with you and other people. I get stuck and I get. A fog and there's an emptiness to me and I'm trying so hard. To know that she's not forgotten. And that she's valued to her family. And I want people to know. Presents. Oscar Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Dolazi former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of investigation discoveries true conviction and this is anatomy of murder. Today's story is one that actually gives me a lump in my throat every time I think about it, and I think that's in part because it touches on issues that we can never talk too much about. Today's story I spoke with Carrie Scott Haney, who lives with her husband Rico in Milwaukee, WI. Within the first few moments of my conversation with Kerry on the phone, I learned a very interesting fact about her heritage. I'm over Ojibwe nation. That's my mom's heritage and I am black. My dad's side, who was also mixed with Cherokee. But I didn't grow up on the reservation. I didn't know our cultural beliefs or traditions or our language even. And another important thing to know about Carrie is that she herself had five children. I have three daughters and two sons. As in many marriages with prior children, the new spouse plays a big role in raising the children as well. When Carrie met Rico Sierra, her oldest was 15 1/2 and Audrey was 12 years old. Sarah was the oldest. There's 3 1/2 years between Sierra and Audrey. But in our family when I was away, Audrey was in charge because she was the leader of the Wolfpack. She and all the four children, they were so close in age together. They listened to her. They took Audrey's lead. If Sierra told her no, she turned the Wolfpack against Sierra. I love the way that she talks about her kids. Is this wolf package? You can really just picture all these kids just muddle together and living together. Audrey was affectionately known as Tutu and of course I had to ask. Her name is Audrey mascot the 2nd? So she was named after her grandma. We called her Tutu because Tutu means grandma and because she was the 2nd Tutu. She was sweet and she spoke her mind from the time that she was young. She was also altruistic and wanted to help others much earlier than so many other people do. At 14 years old, she worked for the Salvation Army, and she rode around and brought lunches to communities. Kerry described Audrey's advocacy as something she really was passionate about, helping the down and out and always reaching a hand to a friend in need, even at her young age. What she wanted to do, she wanted to have a group home for teens that were what they would call uncontrollable or had issues with following rules because she felt that she could get through to them and they would talk to her. I mean when you think about that, how a teen herself already decides that her career, her life ambition, is going to be opening a group home for other teens, and that really says something about the deepness of this young girl. When Audrey was just 14, Carrie, who admittedly was a disciplinarian in the house, got unexpected news about Audrey. Audrey was pregnant. My daughter was pregnant for nine months. For me too, except the fact that I was going to be a grandma and that we were going to have a struggle. And so first, you know, when you hear that there's going to be a baby, our automatic first thing is excitement. But also, her daughter wasn't much more than a child herself. But that brings all sorts of other complications. And so Carrie was trying to weigh them both while she helped her daughter along. Kind of, you know, try to be happy that we have a new life that we brought into our family. But I wasn't very happy through the pregnancy, not until the baby was born. But another thing about Carrie is that she herself had been an Audrey shoes. Mom, I had Sierra when I was 14 years old. So I talked to them about, you know, struggles that we did. I would break it down that they did not to walk in my shoes. We didn't go without food or shelter or anything like that. But there were things that I had to tell them no to. When I tell you no, it's not that I don't want to do things for you. It's because I'm unable to. I work very hard and I have to pay bills and. So I wasn't prepared like I should have been. Audrey gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Audrianna, and it's Audrey and Audrianna that is so cute to think about and through carries careful guidance. She was doing great and taking steps to making sure it stayed that way. And Audrey wasn't just a young mom, but she was a young, single mom. The relationship with the boyfriend, the father of her child, didn't work out between them. So she was while living in her mom's home, in many ways alone. She was great. She did what she needed to do. She made sure that her diaper bag was packed for school. She went to a young teenage pregnancy school. Although she was a teen, she was responsible, she was loving, and I really think that in many ways she must have been modeling herself after her own mom, Carrie, and her experience growing up with her. Even as a new mom, Audrey also focused on her future, juggling home life, being a young mom of course, and looking towards college. So she went to College in Eastern Illinois University. She did well in school, far as that goes. I didn't think she would do well-being away from her family, especially her daughter. And after Audrianna, Audrey had a second child. So she was 19 or 20 when she got pregnant with Ariana. So we have Audrey Audriana, and now Arianna. She put it on Facebook. It would be a hashtag SG4L, which meant Scott girls for life. I think of it now as like the AAA ladies like the I mean, their names are so close and I love it that it's the three of them together. Imagine that conversation in the house and who's calling who to breakfast that day? You know, we think about what is important to each one of us as individuals. You know, it's never one-size-fits-all. For some of us, it's a fulfilling career. It might be making sure your life is full of travel, a healthy lifestyle, a happy family. And Audrey already had many of those things in place for herself, but there still was this void, this piece that she was missing for herself. And it was significant. But in 2016, Carrie began to notice a change. And her daughter. But now it's asking the kids because I'm a little nosey. Like, where's she going? Like she's not going to work right now. So I would ask, who is it? Like, I know it's somebody. Now, Carrie had her suspicions that Audrey had someone new in her life, but she was being pretty tight lipped about it. And even though Audrey was living with her mom and she was an adult, remember she's 27 years old at the time. She had two kids and it wasn't Carrie's place to pry, even if Audrey didn't want to share it. But then one day, Audrey decided to tell her mom exactly who the new manager life was. Sammy started in her inbox on Facebook to Messenger. Chat room. You started chatting with her in there and she was going out on dates with him. I didn't know. A few months later she was moving in with Sammy, so now I know who he is. Sammy is Sammy Miller, and he seemed to be that missing piece of Audrey's life, the person who just seemed to fit in and fill that void. She seemed happy. She liked going to church, and he went to church with her. She felt like the congregation was always looking at her and because she would always go alone with the girls, and she didn't have a man, so she seemed happy. She was happy. Sammy was no stranger to Audrey. He was from the neighborhood, and the family had heard of him before, so she knew him from high school. And he lived in our neighborhood when the kids were growing up. Carrie's house was the neighborhood. From where everyone hung out, they visited, they went on the trampoline, they played in the backyard. So it was very possible that Sammy, as a young boy, hung out at Audrey's home. But in the beginning of the relationship, she didn't tell anybody. So people might say, well, why the secrecy? But you know, Scott, when I thought about it, first of all, she's a young mom herself and she doesn't know if the relationship is going to work out or not. I mean, who does in the early stages? And I could also just understand that, wanting to keep it just for herself. At least in that beginning phase, that means she was a very young mother of two very small children, so she needed that me time. So why not just have fun with it? And that's exactly the way I think that she was headed with that. I mean, Sammy did dote on Audrey, sharing her with gifts in the beginning. Ever since she was little, she always gave 100% of herself to others. And of course, as a mom, she gave everything to her two children so to finally get the attention that she so rightly deserve. That must have meant the world to her. There were times where he would just sit outside in the car while she came in like 4 hours in the winter time. He was really quiet, but he really didn't interact with the family as much. Even if he was present. It was like he was this observant in the dynamics of our family. *** **** color time that Sam and the family would break bread. In fact, it was Turkey. He came over and he stayed for the entire Thanksgiving. So after Thanksgiving we play family games and one of our favorites, we play Uno and we make our own rules. Things did get, let's say, a little weird. So we were sitting down, we were playing and as it went around, he really didn't say anything. Like he didn't join the conversation at all. Well, it came to one of the made-up rules and he corrected me. He said, you can't do that. I said I can't do what? And he said that against the rules. And I said, Oh no, you don't know that in our house, it's the house rules. We make the rules. And he said, oh, and then he kind of like it was a real. Fake smile gritting his teeth. And I saw that each time we did something that was against the original rules of the deck. You know, when I first heard the story, my first thing was I did, you know, I raised an eyebrow and he's already now on my radar. But the other part of me said, well, OK, I know that I'm this naturally suspicious person probably because of my line of work. And, you know, who knows? He just maybe doesn't like the way they play their game or maybe he didn't have a good day, you know? Who knows? So I don't know that there's anything to it. And I told my husband, I told Rico, I said I don't know about him. I said he's real quiet. His eyes shift. And he seems controlled and because they really made him mad that we didn't follow the rules. And he's like, oh, Carrie, leave it alone. It's just a game. And I'm like, I'm telling you, there's something going on there I don't like. And he's like, Carrie, don't do that because you're going to push her away. And I'm like, I'm not saying anything to her. I'm telling you. And it's more than just a game. I can see that he's there's something more there. You know, it was a situation that nobody could really read. And once the celebrations were over for Thanksgiving, that's when Carrie's worst fears were confirmed. Audrianna told me she's like grandma, he's hitting my mom, and I said, what do you mean? She said, well, your bedroom door was open and I fell asleep on the couch. I guess your bedroom was right off of the living room, she said. And they thought I was sleeping, and I seen him choking her. She started crying and she said, grandma, it's kind of like he was choking me, like I couldn't say anything. Audriana was just 12 years old at the time, old enough to know something was wrong and worried enough to say something. So I would tell them if there was any situations or whatever, the innocent ones always get hurt. Don't get involved in anything, she said. Not just I was hearing your voice and and I heard you saying don't do anything because you might get hurt. Hearing what Adriana told her grandmother is exactly one of the things that causes such a lump in my throat. Hearing about what that child witnessed and had been keeping to herself. So she's fearful for her mom also likely for herself and her sister. And then she was living with this secret. And it's those secret which are exactly sometimes the things that can start to eat us alive. This was a conversation that Carrie knew she had to have with her daughter. Would she admit what her 12 year old granddaughter just revealed, or would she try to protect Sammy Miller? That was a question that Carrie really needed to work through. There were times where I wouldn't talk to Audrey for like a week or so or two weeks. And then she's like, Oh my phone was broke. And, well, we find out now that, you know, she would hide and bruises or she was making arguments with me just because she didn't want me to know. And here's where you all know where getting into that unfortunate but least potential cycle of violence. While she might welcome the intervention or the advice on the other hand, unfortunately part of that cycle is to block others out that are looking in too closely. I got Audrey over to the house and not talked to her about it. I said. Is he is he hitting you should like no, mom, he's a nice guy, she said. I know Audrianna told you something because I guess Audrianna told her and she gaslighted her. She told her she was dreaming. And very soon after hearing that news, something else happened. Another domestic violence case came to light that made the news around the same time. December 3rd a good friend and a family, her daughter was murdered by her boyfriend up in Fox Lake, WI. And it opened that doorway up for the two of them to finally have that open conversation about what might be happening behind Audrey's closed doors. On December 5th she called me. She got hold to a phone and she called me and she said mom Audrianna is not lying to you. He is hitting me and he put a gun to my head. She said. I've just seen Cecily on the news and. I don't want you to go through what they must be going through. We want to take a quick side step here and talk about why it's important for us to profile these stories to keep the issue of domestic violence out in the open. You know, there may be someone out there listening to this episode, just like Audrey heard about the other case. It may urge you to seek help. Or maybe there's someone who is listening who knows someone who may need help, and you can use these ROM episodes to spark that conversation, a conversation that could save a life. And to be quite frank and direct, I think we're sure that there is someone out there listening who has been in these shoes or is in them right now. And so I think that we hope that. By having these open conversations that that can give strength for yourself, for someone you know, and that open dialogue can be support. I think a word you used a short time ago. Anesthesia intervention is so important. Intervention here is when people step in to help. Do not fight this battle on your own, except the help. After Audrey and Carrie finally talked openly what was going on in her life, they made a plan. And between Carrie and her husband Rico, they decided they wanted to help by deciding they would help remove her from the home that she was sharing with Sammy. But again, it's hard very often to make that quick, clean break. We wouldn't got her. Rico and I wouldn't got her. And we brought her here. We brought her home and she said that he had all of her important documents, her birth certificate that her and the girl's birth certificate, Social Security cards and registrations to her car and then the things that she's accumulated, furniture. So she had all that stuff said, well, sometimes baby, it's easier just to walk away. She said she didn't want to. And first of all, let's just say this. I mean that is a classic control move. You know the other person's going to leave, well, you are going to being the controller, the abuser, keep other items to still have them somewhere hopefully on your string. And that's exactly how I see. I mean he's keeping all the documents that she needs in life to get by. She didn't want to take anymore else else our losses. I said it's probably best that you just let it go and we start all over again. She didn't want to. And while she was keeping herself out of the home, whether for her, and it was that she still wanted those pieces of her identity and her children's identity for the things that they represented. Or more. Because it's just too daunting to start from scratch. Or even if it was some combination of the difficulty of leaving and going to get those documents back but still also keeping 1 foot in the door, who knows? But it wasn't that clean break, and Audrey went back again more than once. Within a few weeks, a plan was in motion to get all of her possessions back. Audrey was still in touch with Sammy's aunt, who told her that Sammy would be going to a New Year's Eve party and would not be at home, and that could be her opportunity to get into the apartment and recover her things. And that the air was going to get all their stuff and then we can just meet her over there and said, OK, so we waited New Year's Eve all night waiting for her call. And Scott, I'm just going to turn to you for a second for the law enforcement hat and this piece that you know too well, I mean, thinking about them making this plan themselves, you know, what do you think about the possibility had they gotten law enforcement involved from the beginning? Law enforcement does this all the time. It's called being on standby. Law enforcement will stand by as you gather your things to make sure that there is no violence, to make sure that nothing happens and that you can remove your property safely. It is a a normal part of everyday law enforcement duties in every city in this country. So if you have things that you want to get back from an intimate partner that you're having trouble getting back, call law enforcement. I mean, she could have went to his apartment and a neighbor could have called and said, hey, your girlfriend's back. And that would have brought Sammy back to the house, already hyped up by the fact that she's trying to retrieve her stuff behind his back, so to speak. So not a safe way to do it. The better way to do it is to get help through law enforcement. It's just to be that buffer to make sure that the potential tinderbox isn't lit, but unfortunately that is not what happened here. Audrey did take it upon herself to try to get her things back, but it took several visits and. Each one likely terrifying for her. I've seen her on Facebook. She posted a video and I could see that one of her eyes had a bruise underneath it and that she was out with the three. Him, his best friend, and somebody else was in that video. So hearing what Carrie's talking about, she now knows that Audrey is back with Sammy Miller and back in danger, in a sense. A couple of days later we got her back here, but without her belongings. Closer to February, she went back again for another attempt to get her stuff. She didn't come back. And while she doesn't know exactly why or what, if anything has transpired at the time, she did know this. Something went on between them and they both end up going to jail. And that March in the 20th, 2017, police were called to Sammy Miller's home for a battery complaint. Which basically means there was a physical abuse or physical violence going on in the home, but this time it involved, at least on paper, both him and Audrey. They had been fighting with a knife and were both covered in blood. I guess that's when she fought back and she won the fight, I guess. So they both went to jail that day. She called me and said could I keep the girls? Sammy was released from custody 10 days later and he was forbidden as part of his release to have any further contact with Audrey. Now we've seen this very same situation play out in our previous professions and several of the cases that we've covered here on AO M Audrey was at a crossroads, a place that many victims of domestic violence find themselves not only with the person committing the violence, but within their own family trying to lead them out of a dangerous situation, often a life threatening situation. Also, when I think about Audrey Scott, I think about, you know, here is this strong young girl who became a mother herself at just 14 who was going to school and getting the baby to daycare and making sure that she had all together. And now this guy is going to try and take it all away by keeping all those documents. So see things that are vital to her life and that part of her, I think maybe was just going to say no, like you can't, it won't end this way. Then we started to see things getting deeper and certain things even being documented over and over. Now, according to reports only a couple weeks later, now we're in April, actually. April 12th, Sammy was pulled over and he had Audrey in the car with him. He's taken into custody again, except this time it was different because he admitted to officers that he'd been having regular contact with Audrey. A few days later, it was Sammy himself who called the police. It was May 9th. He reported that Audrey had visited his aunt's home and hit him in the face. And then again on June 5th, Sammy Miller reported that Audrey had broken a window in his home. And we are starting to see just by the fact that these things are being documented and in close time I see it as escalation just because we're starting to see things over and over now on paper. But you know, it's very hard to sometimes rationalize the behavior of others, but we have seen. That women can be the aggressor. So whether it's just on paper or whether it's in fact that is sometimes difficult to sort out. As far as I knew, she was done with Sam because she was going to prove to me that she didn't need my help. She left Sammy. She wasn't messing with him. She was getting on her feet because he was the cause of her losing her job. So she was going to job fairs and stuff, so she got another job. But we do know that the cycle of violence continued between these two until July. 3rd 2017. And that's when everything changed for the worse. On the 4th of July my youngest daughter came over and she said that Audrey called her in the middle of the night like 2:00 o'clock in the morning and she missed the call. Now she's not answering her phone. Audrey was still known to visit regularly with her biological father and her grandmother because both of them were unwell. On the 6th of July we called Grandma Gloria because we hadn't heard from her and she seemed like she was fine. Later on that day, my son Timothy, he came over, he said. Mom, you heard from Tutu? I'm like, no, but we talked to Grandma Gloria earlier, and Grandma Gloria doesn't sound like anything's going on. And he said, grab a glorious who called me. She doesn't know where tutus at, and that's when all hell broke loose. Carrie's youngest daughter, Maxine, called police to report her sister Audrey missing, but unfortunately police didn't initially handle the 27 year old's appearance as well as the family had hoped, she said. Mom, they won't let me report her missing because they said she's an adult. So then the next day I went and I. Filled out a Miss report and I didn't leave out of there until they actually understood that she was missing. So there was a police officer. She may have been a Sergeant. She stepped in and she said OK and she called first district and told them to go and get the video, any footage, surveillance or whatever that they could get from downtown. After 8 hours, I left that police district thinking that we had a critical missing report on her and we did not. When you hear Carrie referred to hoping that they would take a critical missing report, what that really means is that when it's categorized as critical missing, it means that at that point police are going to actually share photographs with media outlets or family. That means that they are more hopeful that other people be made aware that the person they love is missing. And that didn't happen here. But the date that that actual missing persons report was filed was July 14th of 2017, which was ten days after the family became suspicious. That something had happened to Audrey, so now the question is where is Audrey and what happened to her on July 4th? Audrey was last seen in a bar in downtown Milwaukee on July 4th, hanging out with her cousin. They saw her at this bar called Mcgillicuddy's. I'm like she left there. Nobody knows, nobody seen from her. Her father hasn't seen from her. Her grandmother hasn't heard from her. Like that's the last place she was at. And Kerry started to ask around. My other nephew, Victor, he called me. He said Auntie, I've seen 2/2 at Mcgillicuddy's last night he said I wouldn't have left if I would have known. I said, would you see who was she there with? He said tapped her arm and she turned around and she gave me a hug, he said. And I was talking to her. Talking about our kids and stuff, but she was looking in in One Direction and he said now look that way because there was a funny look on her face. And I'm sorry, that's all I know is I know that she was in mcgillicuddy's. Based on witness accounts, here's what they were able to determine what happened inside Mcgillicuddy's bar on the night of July 3rd. There was an argument that turned physical at the bar where Sammy became jealous of who Audrey was hanging out with. Even dancing with Christina was Audrey's cousin, so her 22 went to Mcgillicuddy's. What I know happened is that he jumped on Christina because they were dancing together and he thought she was a guy. And when he hit Christina, Christina started fighting him, and he took off out the bar. Christina took off after him. Everybody saw Sammy and his cousin leave, but Audrey stayed at the bar. So you already know that the sparks between these two had now turned to a flame. But now that she's missing, like everyone's wondering, is this now a flaming roar? I mean, where is she? And is this going to be even worse that any of them can imagine? But one thing they need to know is, can they get information? From Sammy? Like, what does he have to say with all this automatically, at least he's going to be at the top of their suspect list as far as someone who might know at least where Audrey is. First, you have to look at the fact that it appeared that Sammy felt like he had some type of ownership of Audrey. And of course we do see these in these intimate partnership domestic violence situations. He was in a jealous rage. It was a clear indication that he knew that Audrey wanted to get her possessions back, but she still wanted to do things on her own, make her own decisions. And as we've seen in these cases, that enraged him. And when police sat down with him because they did and he spoke to them, he just simply said that. After that night, he'd never seen her again. Well, from Carrie's perspective as she watched this police investigation, or from her perspective, this lack of investigation, there wasn't a lot of headway being made. And so they took matters into their own hands to try to get some answers. They hadn't investigated anymore. We're getting calls and tips at her phone, pinged up north, we went up north. We're not getting any calls back from the Police Department. I went down there to give him information and ask him what he's doing with her investigation. He told me he wasn't there when I called from the lobby. I called back. He found out I was in the lobby. He came down the stairs and threatened to put me in jail and my husband started videoing him and saying. How is this gonna look? You're gonna arrest the mother who's looking for her daughter. Within the Milwaukee Police Department, the unit that covers these types of Major Crimes is called the Sensitive Crimes unit, responsible for crimes against children, domestic violence, sexual assaults, and so on. And when Carrie and her husband met with them, reality began to set in. They came to the house, they took our statements. He said that he was going to bring my daughter home. He didn't know how he was going to bring her home. And then, according to Carrie, the investigator gave an example of how this situation has played out before. That one mother got her baby home and she was a bag of bones. My heart, my stomach drop. Who tells somebody that like this is sensitive crimes, telling me about a mother whose child's remains were brought to her as a bag of bones? You know, it's really important the way the victim family member feels with their interaction with police. Clearly this is how Carrie feels about that conversation. Of course, it's like, oh, you can totally get that automatic pit. But, you know, then I wondered to myself, was that if this was the exact lines that were given a lack of bedside manner, or was he just this detective investigator giving the worst case scenario like that which must feel incredibly bad and upsetting to carry? While providing expectations is so important, any trained member of law enforcement knows that families are hanging on your every word, and it's important, in fact, expected to choose those words wisely. I knew if she were somewhere, we had to find her. I did not feel like some others feel that their daughter's gone. I didn't feel that she was gone. I felt like I knew that he had done something with her. I thought that maybe had her holding her against her will, somewhere that maybe she was beaten up. So as police are now out there looking for Audrey, her family and friends are out there too. They have search parties going on. They're walking the neighborhoods with Flyers, start to search downward where she was last seen, trying to find information any way they can. I pretty much knew by then. I knew after the first couple weeks. I knew. I just didn't want to give up hope. I just wanted that gut feeling to be wrong and if someone resembles her, I still break down. Behind the scenes, investigators were making some headway. They tracked down a key witness who had important information. She was Sammy's aunt who was living with Sam at the time, and she told investigators on the morning of July 4th, Sammy woke her up at 2:00 AM and told her that he needed the keys to her white GMC Yukon truck. When he returned hours later, Sammy just said that he had the truck cleaned and then there was even more because she said that then in mid-july. A friend of Sammy's came to the house and took away his two guns. I mean, Scott, when you hear that, where are you going? Be my first obvious question would be timing. You know, here we are mid-july, which is maybe a week or two after Audrey disappeared. And you know, would these possible weapons be involved in a crime or crimes weapons that could be traced directly back to him? And who is this friend? And again, when you look at these guns, we'll having guns are illegal if you're not licensed. So whether it's because he know he's being looked at for Audrey's disappearance, whether he has something to do with it or not, he doesn't want to be caught. Those guns. So maybe he suspects a search of his home and he doesn't want to have them. But the aunt continued to give investigators more crucial information. She also said that she found a pair of samy's shoes, and the reason why the pair stood out to her is those shoes had blood on them. And one more thing, the Ant also heard rumors that Sammy had murdered Audrey. First of all, these statements are somewhat explosive, but they aren't enough to bring Sammy into court, at least not yet. But there's more about those shoes, the ones that she said had blood on them because investigators can't find the shoes to see them from themselves because they were burned by that same Ant. So one of the big hurdles remains that they don't know where Audrey is. Well, two months later in August 2017, they find her and not. Just her. Investigators also find that Sammy wasn't acting alone. In now, August 2017, detectives reached out to Carrie's family for a very specific request. So then that morning the detective, he came and he said he needed a DNA test. And it was one that made her family jump to the very worst conclusions. I did not want to believe that he needed DNA test because he found my daughter's remains, he said. In case they find the worst case scenario or whatever or anything like that. The only time really DNA is ever requested from a family member is that something has been located to compare to an item, a piece of clothing or hair brush, or potentially remains. So at a certain point when they make that request, many people realize it's not for the best. At the end of it, he told me that they found some remains there. A witness took them to a site and that they found some remains that might belong to Audrey. I lost my voice that day. It was on August 30th that investigators had found skeletal remains in the woods of Yorkville, Wisconsin. Using DNA from her family, forensics confirmed. It was Audrey Scott. That's how. Audrey was returned to me. She was a bag of bones. I literally saw a bag marked left foot at the Mortuary. She was surrounded by so many different family members and friends during this difficult phase. Everybody would come and check on me. They would make me eat because I wasn't hungry. I couldn't eat the smell of her. Her decomposition is worse than raw sewage and that smell would not leave me and it just sickened my stomach. And it does right now. I to this day, I. I lost a daughter. A piece of me, a person who I never, ever dreamed that I would have to walk this earth without. You're taught that one day you will have to bury your parents. But. Not a child. I was not prepared for that. Behind the scenes, investigators were already putting a case together against Sammy Miller, who was arrested and charged with first degree intentional homicide, and here is how they built their case. After the argument erupted at the bar, which led to Sammy being kicked out, investigators were able to confirm that he later connected with Audrey. They found through her phone records that he called within the hours time he called 52 times. I mean think about the 52 calls that they can see on her phone. I mean that really shows you just match after match, being lit, trying to strike, trying to strike, trying to strike. So you can only imagine if he's going to connect with her based on their history, what might happen then? So she must have kept on hanging up on him, not answering, ignoring the calls. But when investigators looked into it and spoke to people, witnesses, they did find out that Sammy Miller had indeed used his aunt's SUV, the one that she had told investigators about, and he had driven it to the side of the road off I-94 in Racine County. The recent police know this is because Sammy wasn't alone. He enlisted a friend, Larry Brown, to help him out by the time that he picks up his friend, his friend told investigators that he saw Audrey in the car, already badly beaten. Audrey pleaded with him not to kill her for the sake of her two children. And when I hear that story, when I read it, all I can think about is the indescribable terror that Audrey must have felt as she is making that drive in the car. And then Sammy Miller walked Audrey into the woods. Brown said he heard a gunshot and saw Miller pointing a gun at Audrey. He said Miller pulled the trigger a few more times, but the gun did not fire again. Audrey fell to the ground, then Miller and Brown just left. And Larry Brown admitted that Sammy murdered my baby and that they cleaned out the truck that morning before it was brought back to her. It would be Larry Brown, who later showed detectives where the shooting took place, and that's how detectives found Audrey in the woods. Months later, police were able to forensically process the SUV and they found blood. The DNA in that vehicle, it was more than a billion times likely that it was a close relative of mine. Motive. It's always this thing that people say, why? So in domestic violence homicides between intimate partners, they say, OK, well, it's control very often. But was it here? It wasn't a question being asked for too long. It was Miller's friend Larry Brown, who told police the likely motive, that it was Miller who was looking out for himself. Shocking. And that was because at the time of the murder, Miller was an ex felon and a member of a violent. Milwaukee gang. At the very beginning of their relationship, Audrey had just thought that she knew him from high school and he was a guy that he had then reached out to her via Facebook. But he had this whole other life before her. He was in prison for most of his adult life already. He did eight years in prison for murder already. He had an extensive rap sheet. He had previously murdered someone in a robbery go wrong. In 2007, the victim died from multiple gunshot wounds to his arm, his chest, and even was shot in the back. Miller was sentenced to 8 years in prison, followed by 8 years of extended supervision in the community. So he was released to supervision in May of 2016. And why is that important? So just think about the timeline, right? He's released in May of 2016 and it's not too long. After that, that he now begins the relationship with Audrey. And so it's only a little more than a year after that that he murdered her. So based on the fact that he had been in prison for eight years, well, when he got out of prison, he was still on parole. So if he is on parole and now is committing another serious crime and just think about the beating that was evident even to Miller's friend Larry when he picked up him in the car that night, well, that means that Miller now has the possibility of going back. To jail, and he didn't want to go back to jail, so he chose to take Audrey Scott's life. You wanna singer? We've had too many conversations about the nation's parole system. Losing your child to murder is devastating for any parent. Just add on top of that, a justice system that likely failed is a whole other level of pain. Miller had been jailed several times before he murdered Audrey, and he was released time and time again. The parole system released him. The system. It's easy to question whether things would have been different had Miller remained behind bars, and I realize it's a hypothetical. Question and they're just that, right? Hypothetical questions, but there are not any less painful to pose and for Audrey's family to deal with. What I feel is though, if they would have kept him in there, that's two times he had violated, you know, he has this violent history that he shouldn't have been released. Had he not been released, my daughter would still be here. And so now the investigation took this posture from open investigation to charges and then was making its way to trial. So now it's left to the district Attorney's office to try to see that case through till the end. And a priority for them was to make sure that any of the mishaps that had gone on before them or certainly that at least carry faced and had felt that they didn't repeat itself on their watch. One sense of crimes was not cooperating with me. I went to our District Attorney here, who gave me a private investigator to help me and I could report to him the Assistant District Attorney who tried the case in Racine. He would reach out and he let me know that Sammy was going down and assured us that we would get justice. Prosecutors would need to shore up their case and in a move often seen as controversial but necessary. Those prosecutors offered cooperation agreements with Miller's friend Larry Brown and Miller's aunt, and to explain why that is, I almost don't see a case against him without it. Because you have these pieces of evidence, you have some blood in a car, you have the history between them. That's really about it. Unless you have these connectors of these all important dots to explain the scenario and all of a sudden to put these missing shoes in perspective and and why he's in the car. And you really needed Larry Brown and his. Camp Miller's aunt, that is for that. And so investigators in this case, prosecutors really had no choice. Even with all these deals in place, Carrie and her family remain concerned. Would they finally see justice? There was a defense mountain again, the defense never has to do anything, but they chose to hear. And I thought it was interesting because while Miller maintained his innocence, he also suggested that it was his best friend, that all important witness Larry Brown, who had testified against him, that he was in fact the true. Corporate, but Larry Brown didn't have a contentious relationship with Audrey. Larry Brown had never been accused of assaulting Audrey ever in the past. So I don't know if that really carries any weight. Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. I really think it comes down to who had the motive and I really can't see how Larry Brown by anything at least that we've heard would have any motive. So I think that is the big hole in the defenses proposition. But you know, there is one thing that I think we at least have to touch on here because I think it's a really huge issue that is playing out in the background. We're carrying her family, and that comes down to race. And then, and you're looking at 12 jurors, and they weren't one of her peers. She was Native American and black, and we had to see this testimony helped persuade them to understand that he is the person who murdered my baby. We've all heard that saying, and I certainly hope that it's true and it should be true, that justice is blind and certainly working in a very diverse community in Brooklyn. So many years I've seen it all with all, and I've seen everyone treated by and large the same usually. And I say that because unfortunately that isn't always the case. But I think what's really important here, and the reason we just have to put it out there, is that it's what families perceive they are getting, whether they are right or even wrong and their perception and what they need that is so important that we as law enforcement and prosecutors always keep in mind. I totally agree. I mean, this is about us giving them an opportunity to talk about their experience and these are her words and these were her experiences. At the end of the trial, Sammy Miller was found guilty. So when I heard the guilty, it did lift something. It lifted like he is going to do some time. I didn't want him to walk the same land that my grandchildren, my children walk. I never want him to ever cross paths with them again. Sammy Miller received a life sentence plus five years with no chance for parole. I was happy for the work that the District Attorney's Office put in that that the homicide investigators, that they were able to make a case and find him guilty. Larry Brown received no prison time in this case, and Samy's aunt received no punishment. I want people to know that if you are in a domestic violence situation, we need the men to be held accountable. Because it's 85% of the victims that are reported are women, so they need to learn how to have healthy relationships and that goes for everybody to do with domestic violence, be educated on how to have a healthy family and healthy relationships in that family so that we honor each other in our relationships. Last month was missing and murdered Indigenous Women's Day. Basically what that day is. It is a national day of awareness, and it is based on an unfortunate set of numbers that makes missing and murdered cases, in particular against various indigenous women, an epidemic. And so it is a day for us all to recognize that these cases are for multiple reasons, under reported, yet no less very real. For Carrie, that day has even more significance now. We want our children and our women and our community to know that they are valued to their families and that they are missed and it is breaking up our community. There's thousands of people who they have not found the remains of their children. Nobody's looking for them. Nobody cares, and that's what hurts most. Carrie's mission is to change law enforcement's protocol and their use of discretion in acting in missing persons cases, developing the Purple alert system that a person who was reported missing and is documented or suspected victim of domestic violence. The police will code those calls and handle them accordingly. And, you know, if you're like, well, what is this purple alert? It's basically the same thing as an Amber Alert, except, you know, the Amber Alert is the system for missing children. Well, this would be issued for women or people, I should say that, go missing and have a history of domestic abuse in their background. But here's some interesting thing. There's definitely privacy issues with that because you're identifying that missing person as a domestic violence victim or survivor, and many people don't want that fact known. Like an Amber Alert, the purple alert could help promote that. There wouldn't be a worry of they perpetrator or the abuser of reporting and using that as a tool to find the victim, because you would have to report the perpetrator or their abuser. I want that misconception of the purple alert to be cleared up. But there is some precedent for this because Wisconsin did issue what is called a green alert for military veterans after a 45 year old veteran named Corey Adams who had PTSD had disappeared in 2017. So it's an interesting legal question, but certainly something very important to carry and other mothers who have had to go through loss like hers. Kerry wanted to make sure that we talked about her mission and where people can learn more about it. You can go to change.org/purple alert to learn more about her mission. Audrey was a beautiful soul who wanted to help our community as well. She was a humanitarian from the time that she was born. She always wanted to help feed people in our community, kids who she didn't know who had food, and she worked with the Salvation Army. She was an activist. She had so much to live for, and I want people to know her presence. That she was a good person, she was beautiful and she was here and. To know that she's not forgotten. And Carrie, I'm talking directly to you. Your daughter Audrey is not forgotten. Your family loved ones. She is in your heart always. And now she is in our heart too, because we here at AOM and all the AOM listeners know her story and the many beautiful things about her. She just got mixed up with the wrong guy and I don't want another mother to feel like I do. Victims of domestic violence do not bring violence upon themselves. They do not always lack self-confidence, nor are they just as abusive as the abuser. Violence in relationships occur when one person feels entitled to power and control over their partner and chooses to abuse to gain and maintain that control. Intimate partners and abusive relationships need support and understanding, not judgment. Audrey's daughter felt a need to speak up to save her mother. Voices like hers should never be silenced. TuneIn next week for another new episode of Anatomy of Murder. The murder is an audio Chuck original produced and created by Weinberger Media and Versetti Media. Ashley Flowers and submit David are executive producers. So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve? Umm.