14-year-old charged as adult for stabbing her sister to death

Claire Miller, 14, of Manheim Township, Pennsylvania. [Image credit: Lancaster County District Attorney's Office]

Just after 1:00 am on Monday, February 22 officers were called to a residence in Manheim Township where a "hysterical" girl had called into 911 to report that she had stabbed her sister.


Officers and emergency services arrived to the scene just five minutes later to find 14-year-old Claire E. Miller waiting for them outside in bloody pants and with blood on her hands.  She repeatedly told officers, "I stabbed my sister."


Claire led the officers to her 19-year-old sister Helen's bedroom. Inside, officers found Helen, who according to Penn Live has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, lying on her back with a blood soaked pillow over her face.  Removing the pillow revealed a large knife jutting from her neck and pooled blood on her chest and bed.


Lifesaving measured were attempted but ultimately unsuccessful.  Helen's cause of death was ruled by the coroner to be multiple stab wounds.


Claire was taken into custody without incident.


Investigators believe that the stabbing occurred while the parents were sleeping.


As officers continued their investigation, a witness made contact with them at 1:42 am indicating that they had been speaking with Claire on the phone.  The time in which that communication took place in reference to the stabbing was not disclosed. What was disclosed however, is that Claire had, according to the witness, been having "suicidal and homicidal thoughts."


Claire was arraigned in court later that morning before Matisterial District Judge David P. Miller on a single charge of criminal homicide. She was denied bail as "homicide is not considered a delinquent act in Pennsylvania," the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.


She remains in custody at the Lancaster County Prison where she is being held in a cell by herself, awaiting her preliminary hearing.  It was originally scheduled for tomorrow, February 26, but has been continued to March 30 at 2:00 pm.


According to court records, she has been appointed Robert D. Beyer of Goldberg and Beyer to represent her.


The investigation remains ongoing as a motive for the killing is still unknown.  According to a search warrant, officers had been seeking Claire's cell phone, but did not seem to have located it after an initial search in which they took possession of several knives and an Exacto knife that had been found in Claire's desk.