A new documentary is out on the Texas Killing Fields and it’s putting four cold cases back in the spotlight.
About the documentary:
There are four graves on Calder road south of Houston. One of them is Tim Miller’s daughter, Laura. He’s the founder of Texas EquuSearch and the focus of the new documentary that he hopes will crack these cold cases.
“The emails, the calls, the texts, everything we’ve gotten – unbelievable,” he said.
For Miller, it’s been a whirlwind watching his story unfold before a national audience, detailing how he founded Texas EquuSearch after his daughter was murdered.
“This is not what I chose in life, it chose me," Miller said.
Laura was 16 when she disappeared from League City in 1984. Her body was found off Calder Road, where over the years, three other bodies were also discovered. Heidi Fye, as well as Audrey Cook and Donna Prudhomme, who were not identified until 2019. The area was dubbed “The Killing Fields” and the cases were never solved.
“The effect that this has had on people for the last 30 years is still there," said Miller.
The documentary dives into Miller’s theory that his neighbor, Clyde Hedrick, was responsible. He has not been charged but has been questioned over the years by investigators.
Hedrick was convicted in another women’s death, Ellen Beason. Her body was found the same year in 1984. Hedrick was recently released from prison.
“I’m not close to giving up, not close," Miller said.
He revealed that this year, a witness came forward with new information.
“He stopped at a point and just stared, he said, ‘We dumped something there.’ And I said, 'Oh my God, that’s where Laura’s body was dumped,'" Miller told KHOU 11.
Miller said he was skeptical at first because of how widely the cases were reported, but now he's convinced of the witness's story.
“He sat in front of the house and he said, 'I told you, someday you are going to know what happened in this house.' And I said, 'Was Laura murdered in this house?' And he said, 'Yeah.'"
Miller said the witness wants to remain anonymous, but he put them in touch with investigators. It's a new clue he hopes, along with the documentary, will give the investigation momentum.
He says that the witness wants to remain anonymous, but Miller says he put him in touch with investigators. A new clue he’s hoping along with the documentary will give the investigation momentum.
“If the only thing it does is save another girl from being raped or murdered – it’s all worth it," Miller said.
The League City Police Department declined KHOU 11's request for an interview but did say they continue to actively work the Calder Road cases. They're asking anyone with information to call Lt. Eric Cox at (281) 554-1810.
Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady released the following statement on the cases:
"These cases are still very much open investigations. It has been a very, very long time of waiting for the loved ones of these victims, and we all want to see justice done for them. We won’t stop working on these cases.
"We have a close working relationship with the League City Police Department, the FBI and the other agencies involved, and we take every new piece of information seriously. If we reach the point where we have enough evidence to proceed with a charge in any of these open cases, we will absolutely do so."
Audrey Lee Cook
Jane Doe was identified as Audry Lee Cook who had vanished in December of 1985. Her body was found in 1986 by two boys riding bikes on Calder Road.
Janet Doe turned out to be Donna Prudhomme. She moved to Seabrook from Beaumont in 1988 with her two sons. Police said she had lost touch with most of her family members.
Dianne Gonsoulin Hastings had been searching for her sister since 1989.
“She loved life. Like, with her kids it was just… she just wanted to give them everything life could offer.
Gonsoulin says that over the years the family hired private investigators, working with police and the media hoping to find clues that led to a break in the case.
“I can tell you that every time there was a body found,” said Gonsoulin, “I was always waiting to see if it was her.”
Family members from all over Texas traveled to League City for a memorial service after Prudhomme was identified.
Laura Miller was 16 when she disappeared in 1984. It took 17 months to find her body at the end of Calder Road about, a mile from Interstate 45.
“I’ve been out here hundreds of times and cried gallons of tears,” Laura's father Tim Miller said.
Laura’s body was found just feet away from where League City police found the body of 23-year-old Heidi Villareal-Frye, who had vanished six months earlier.
It’s believed the women were murdered elsewhere and their bodies dumped.
Tim Miller later founded Texas Equusearch to help other families find missing loved ones. He and an army of volunteers have helped bring closure to countless families across Texas and other states.
He's still waiting for justice in Laura's case.
There has never been a conviction in any of the Killing Fields’ deaths. A couple of Texas inmates have confessed over the years but never been charged.
Anyone with information is asked to call League City Police.
Past KHOU 11 coverage:
Police say two victims in 'Killing Fields' murders have been identified (April 11, 2019)
Houston-based DNA company helps identify 'Killing Fields' victims (April 11, 2019)
How DNA is revolutionizing cold case leads (April 15, 2019)
Man confesses to a 'Killing Fields' murder