MONROE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — The mysterious murder of Monroe County Elections Commissioner Jim Miller in 2010 still hasn’t been solved.
One woman was convicted of being part of the crime, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says she could not have acted alone. Investigators just need someone to answer some questions to help them close this cold case and give Jim Miller’s widow answers.
Vickie Miller placed bright orange flowers at the grave of her husband Jim Miller, known to his friends as a loyal Vol fan, a dog lover whose beloved pet he named Mutt is now growing old, still making the trek to the cemetery in Sweetwater.
“He was a farm boy,” Vickie Miller told WATE. “He’d been raised to work and that’s all he knew was working. He really didn’t have a whole lot of hobbies except politics and UT football.”
Jim Miller was proud of his role as Chair of the Monroe County Election Commission. It was the last place he was seen alive in the early afternoon hours of July 17, 2010.
TBI Special Agent Colton Brown is investigating the case.
“He called his wife and said, ‘You know, I’m not feeling well, so I think I’m just going to come home and lay down for a few hours and then I’ll go to the farm and work there.’ And he never made it home,” Brown said.
Hours later that evening, firefighters got a call to Highway 68 and Sands Road. It is about five miles from the election commission. Jim Miller’s Crown Victoria was found on fire, his body in the trunk.
The TBI said the spot where Jim Miller’s body was discovered is not where he was killed.
“We think his vehicle and him inside were transported there after the fact and basically they dumped his vehicle there, and that’s where the fire was started,” Brown said.
One woman, Jessica Kennedy, 27 at the time, was convicted in Jim Miller’s death. During her trial, we learned Miller was shot three times in the head and robbed. Kennedy was sentenced to 22 years in prison, but investigators do not believe she acted alone.
“We’ve had information that other people may have been involved,” Brown said. “And we would like to follow through with that and we just need the public’s help calling in with that information.
For the first time, Vickie Miller took us to the site where she believes her husband was killed.
It is a wooded area in Monroe County that Vickie Miller calls, “Hell’s Kitchen,” for its reputation as a haven for meth houses. It looks different today than it did in 2010.
“All three of the houses are gone [and] mysteriously burned,” she said.
Vickie Miller believes Jim Miller may have come to the area to check on a family he knew before heading home, and perhaps saw something he should not have.
Vickie Miller is unrelenting in her quest to find new clues from people in the area to help close the case, asking, “You think Jim was shot there? Or over there?”
Vickie Miller said she does feel like she will get answers.
“You know it’s been a burden on their heart. They want to share what they do know, and I know, they know. Perhaps they’re afraid, but I don’t know what’s to be afraid of anymore.”
To her, the case is not cold. It feels like it happened just yesterday. However, she knows it has been a long time.
If you were in the area of Highway 68 and Sands Road in Monroe County and saw anything worth mentioning, please call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.