Cause of Death of 17-Year-Old in Army Recruiter's Home Ruled Inconclusive

Case originally considered an apparent murder-suicide; Michelle Miller's cause of death now inconclusive

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Miller Family
    17-year-old Michelle Miller

    The death of a 17-year-old girl in the home of a U.S. Army recruiter has been ruled undetermined, authorities said Wednesday.

    Michelle Miller and Army Sgt. Adam Arndt, 31, were found dead inside Arndt's Germantown, Md., home in April in a case that was originally considered an apparent murder-suicide.

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    Each had a single gunshot wound to the head.

    Authorities said in their final report Wednesday that while the cause of Arndt's death is suicide, they weren't able to determine who pulled the trigger in Miller's death despite an investigation by Montgomery County Police and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

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    "There is a possibility that Michelle Miller could have pulled the gun on herself. It's undetermined. There is that possibility," Capt. Marcus Jones with Montgomery County major Crimes Division said.

    The two were found dead in a bathtub, and the blood splatter evidence is inconclusive, Montgomery County Police told News4 Wednesday.

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    "We do know Adam was right-handed and that would have made it very difficult for him to reach around [and shoot her]," Jones said.

    No notes were found in the home.

    Both families have been briefed on the final ruling, police told News4 Wednesday.

    Arndt and Miller are believed to have had a romantic relationship.

    They met after Miller signed up to enter the Army Reserves after her expected graduation from Rockville High School this year. Arndt worked at a military recruiting office in Gaithersburg as a member of the Baltimore recruiting battalion. His duties included visiting schools, the Associated Press reported.

    Army recruiters are barred from having personal relationships with recruits.

    Kevin Miller, Michelle's father, said that he had not met Arndt, but that his daughter had seemed "a little smitten with this guy," the AP reported.

    Kevin Miller said his daughter had received a text message from someone who was suicidal April 7, the night before she and Arndt were found dead. Michelle's father told news outlets he objected to her leaving, but she said she would be fine, and promised to text him the address when she arrived.

    He said he later received a "vague" text from her about the location, but she then stopped responding to his texts and calls, the AP reported.

    One of Michelle Miller's friends said she received some texts from Michelle's phone, including one that said Michelle Miller loved her friend. The final one said, "Goodbye."

    Miller's family said last month they were suing the Army for $10 million over her death, saying Army supervisors missed the warning signs of Arndt's mental state.

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