A 13-year-old boy, R., was starved, imprisoned, and physically abused by his father, John P. Miller, and his stepmother Katrina M. Miller. R. was homeschooled. R.’s 3-year-old sister was not reported to be abused.
R. was born around 2006 and survived childhood leukemia. R.’s biological parents divorced in 2009 and his mother, Tiffany Miller, lost custody of him. R. went to live with his father and stepmother in Iberia, OH, while two of Tiffany Miller’s daughters lived with R.’s grandparents six miles away in Galion, OH. Around 2016, the Millers pulled R. out of public school to homeschool him, reportedly because of their religious beliefs. Around the same time they cut off R.’s contact with his grandparents and began starving R.
While John Miller had a typical diet, Katrina Miller was vegan. The Millers limited R. to a diet of almonds, bananas, and grapes, six a day, which he was forced to eat within 30 minutes of receiving them. R. reported that the Millers kept a camera trained on the refrigerator so he could not get extra food. If he vomited, he was forced to clean it up. R. was also forced to do extreme exercise and calisthenics. If he didn’t meet the Millers’ expectations about diet and exercise, R.’s father would beat him. When R. was rescued he weighed 62 lbs. and his hair was falling out; he attributed his survival to the meals he had gotten in public school before he was withdrawn to be homeschooled. R. was only allowed out of the house to attend church, where he wore bulky clothes to disguise his emaciated state. The Millers also prevented R. from getting follow-up care for his childhood leukemia, instead consulting an online doctor.
Around 2017, R. ran away from his Iberia home and hitchhiked to his grandparents’ house in Galion. Though R.’s grandfather reported the incident to social services, no intervention was made on R.’s behalf. In 2019, R. ran away again, unscrewing a window in order to escape because “he was afraid he’d starve to death.” Again he hitchhiked to his grandparents’ house, where his grandfather called the authorities to report that R. looked like a ‘Holocaust child’. The Millers were charged with child endangerment, kidnapping, and assault, among other charges.
Date: August 24, 2019
Location: Crestline, Ohio