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Author Topic: Michelle Ashlee Dickson 23, missing 7-15-08 Crescent City, CA (BODY FOUND)  (Read 8868 times)
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« on: July 19, 2008, 12:34:01 PM »

Missing woman sought after burning car found

Published: July 16, 2008

Authorities suspect foul play is involved in the disappearance of 23-year-old Michelle Ashlee Dickson of Crescent City.

Her burning vehicle was found just off U.S. Highway 101 across from Sand Mine Road around 5:30 a.m. today after the Crescent City Fire Department received a report of a fire near the beach.

"The car was torched and she was absolutely not in the car," Del Norte County sheriff's Commander Bill Steven said. "She is missing and foul play appears to be a possibility."

The Sheriff's Office is working leads on the case, Steven said, some of which have taken investigators into Humboldt County. He would not say whether there are any suspects in Dickson's disappearance.

"We're not releasing that information because the investigation is ongoing," he said.

According to Detective Sgt. Steve Morris, who heads the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office Felony Investigations Unit, Dickson is not known by her family and acquaintances as a person who would just disappear.

Dickson works at Ship Ashore Restaurant in Smith River and did not show up for work this morning, Morris said. Likewise, she was supposed to meet her boyfriend Tuesday night, but never showed.

"She is considered to be a very responsible person, and always shows up to work on time," Morris said. "She was supposed to meet with her boyfriend at 10:30 last night and he was waiting for her and she just didn't show up."

Del Norte County Search and Rescue crews looked for Dickson today near where her car was found. Using a dog, they searched from the Beachcomber Restaurant to the Enderts Beach Campground, but were unsuccessful in locating Dickson.

Arson investigators from Cal Fire are also involved with the case, collecting evidence from Dickson's car to take to the Department of Justice.

"I consider this suspicious and we're doing everything we can to find her," Morris said. "I hope she's alive."

Dickson was last seen at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Crescent Beach picnic area off of Enderts Beach Road, though officials would not say who the last person to see her was.

She is Caucasian, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 120 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing either a white or dark-colored sweat shirt and white or blue-colored sweat pants.

http://www.triplicate.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=9524
and
http://www.triplicate.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=9525

I have not found a better pix of her yet.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 06:41:18 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 12:48:23 PM »

Search warrants served in missing woman's case
Donna Tam/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/19/2008 01:30:45 AM PDT



Authorities searched a home in Arcata and interviewed a missing Crescent City woman's friend as a “person of interest” in the investigation launched after her car was found abandoned and on fire earlier this week, officials said Friday.

Foul play is suspected in the disappearance of 23-year-old Michelle Ashlee Dickson, whose car was found around 5:30 a.m. on U.S. Highway 101 south of Crescent City.

Cmdr. Bill Steven said leads were being pursued in Humboldt County and a search warrant was served Wednesday in Arcata. A person of interest, a friend of Dickson's, was interviewed, but is not in custody, Steven said.

Steven said investigators are interviewing friends, family and other people within Dickson's social circle in both Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

”We have interviewed a large number of people and are continuing to interview more,” he said.

The department has also subpoenaed Dickson's phone and text message information and is going through the records for the investigation, Steven said, adding that evidence has been sent to a crime lab in Eureka and is still being processed.

The department is also continuing its search and rescue efforts. Steven said the strip of land near where Dickson's car was found is between the highway and the ocean and is a wooded area with a lot of brush and grass. An airborne search and rescue effort has been held back by the weather, Steven said.

”We've been battling the fog,” he said. “As soon as the fog clears, the Coast Guard is going to give us a helicopter to search some of the more remote areas outlying the coast.”
Steven said the case is extremely rare for the county.

”It's not uncommon for junk cars in remote areas to be set on fire by kids having fun ... but the circumstance for this burnt-out car is very rare,” he said.

Nanci Pogas, a waitress who worked with Dickson at the Ship Ashore Resort restaurant in Smith River, said she was called into work when Dickson didn't show up the morning she went missing.

”She was very responsible, always made it to work on time, always early, she was very pleasant to work with,” Pogas said.

She said it was unusual that Dickson didn't notify anyone about not coming to work.

”She didn't show up and she didn't call,” Pogas said. “I mean, she never did that.”

Pogas said Dickson worked five days a week at the restaurant and also worked a second job at Bistro Gardens in Crescent City, all while going to school at the College of the Redwoods.

Dickson is a white female with brown hair and brown eyes, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white or dark-colored sweatshirt, white or blue-colored sweatpants and sherpa shoes.

Anyone with information can call the Del Norte County Sheriff's Department at 464-4191.

http://**/localnews/ci_9931992

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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 10:16:40 AM »

Missing woman met with drug dealer

Jul 21 2008, 10:34 PM
A missing Crescent City woman suspected to be the victim of foul play met with an Arcata man for a marijuana deal just hours before her blazing car was found early last week, officials said Monday.

No suspects had been arrested as of Monday afternoon, but Del Norte County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Bill Steven said he expects to release more information to the public soon.

Michelle Ashlee Dickson, 23, was last seen July 15 at 10:30 p.m. at a picnic area off Enderts Beach Road, which is just south of Crescent City. Her burning Honda Civic was found off U.S. Highway 101 across Sand Mine Road around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, but Dickson was nowhere to be found.

A search warrant was served Wednesday at the home of the Arcata man Dickson met, Steven said, but he hasn’t been arrested. “When your home is searched and items are taken to the lab for processing, that could change,” he said. “His title could easily change from being a ‘person of interest’ to ‘suspect’ again.”

Officials are awaiting lab results from the California Department of Justice and have also handed down subpoenas for phone, cell phone and text messaging records. Steven wouldn’t disclose many other details for fear of jeopardizing the investigation.

Dickson, who didn’t show up to work at a restaurant Wednesday and didn’t meet her boyfriend the night before, is described as punctual and responsible.

Her family, in a plea to the public, asked for help from anyone who may know where she is: “Michelle is a wonderful daughter, sister and friend and we miss her very much. To those who may have knowledge of where Michelle is, we ask that you contact us as soon as possible to give our Michelle and our family peace of mind. You can call your police department, sheriff’s department or newspaper and be anonymous if you choose, we just want our Michelle home. If you hear this, know that we love you and want you home.”

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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2008, 05:12:58 PM »

Blood found in man's truck

July 23, 2008
Lab results show trace evidence of blood found inside the truck of an Arcata man who authorities are investigating in connection with the disappearance of 24-year-old Michelle Ashlee Dickson.

Authorities still need to determine if the blood belongs to Dickson before making an arrest, but they said the evidence makes 27-year-old Josiah M. Miller more than what they had considered a "person of interest."

"He just became a suspect," said Detective Sgt. Steve Morris of the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office. "The problem here is that we don't know whose blood it is."

The Department of Justice in Eureka will test the blood to see if it is Dickson's, but Morris said he did not know how long that would take.

According to a search warrant executed at Miller's residence last week, detectives found some upholstery had been cut out of his truck and that parts of the vehicle had recently been cleaned.

"What we have is the trace evidence that's left behind that's left in the foam," Morris said. "At this point we're disproving (Miller's) story little, by little, by little."

Morris said Miller has told the truth about some of the events that occurred the night Dickson went missing, but in other cases "his timeline is off."

Miller, a former Del Norte County resident, is the last person known to have seen Dickson on the night she went missing. He told authorities he met Dickson at the Crescent Beach picnic area around 10:30 p.m. July 15 to buy about three ounces of marijuana, and then drove back to Arcata after the alleged transaction.

"He said he threw the weed in the river," Morris said, because he was nervous about having it in his truck. "There are two people that say they saw him in Crescent City that night after 10:30. That's what we want to nail down."

Interviews with Miller have not produced the desired results, Morris said.

"He's sticking with his story," Morris said, "and he insists that he does not know where this girl is."

Del Norte Search and Rescue has been unable to locate Dickson despite numerous attempts in the past week. A helicopter and boats were used to search along the coastline, and search crews with dogs combed from where her burned car was found down to the Klamath River.

Officials said Miller and Dickson were known to be friends, and it appears detectives are still exploring that angle.

"They had some sort of a close relationship," Morris said. "We don't know how close."

Authorities continue to follow leads in Dickson's disappearance, and they have issued several search warrants to collect data from other people's phones, including calling records, text messages and voice mails.

"What we have is a burned-up car, with a missing person, with a person of interest who seems to be lying to us," Morris said. "At this point that's all we have ... We don't have a body. We don't have a motive."

http://www.triplicate.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=9575
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2008, 07:57:55 PM »



http://watchpaul.blogspot.com/2008/07/crescent-city-girl-missing-case.html

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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2008, 08:08:40 PM »

Arcata man, 27, now considered suspect in Crescent City woman’s disappearance

Published: Jul 23 2008
An Arcata man is now considered a suspect in the disappearance of Michelle Ashlee Dickson of Crescent City, after trace evidence of blood was found inside his truck.

It’s unknown if the blood belongs to Dickson, as the California Department of Justice lab in Eureka is still processing the evidence, but 27-year-old Josiah M. Miller “is our suspect,” Del Norte County Sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven said.

“If you’ve got a pickup you’re known to take good care of, and all of a sudden you’re cleaning it real hard, both the bed and inside the morning this gal came up missing, to include removing chunks out of the seat, that tells a lot, doesn’t it?”

Miller, who previously lived in Del Norte County and has been living in Arcata, frequently visited the Crescent City area, Del Norte Detective Sgt. Steve Morris said.

He hasn’t been arrested as of Wednesday morning, but detectives found upholstery had been cut from his truck seat and parts of the vehicle had recently been cleaned when a search warrant was served at his home last week. His computer, clothing and truck were seized as evidence.

Miller allegedly met with Dickson the night of July 15 for a pot deal at a beach picnic area just south of Crescent City. She allegedly sold Miller three ounces of marijuana worth about $1,000.

Dickson’s burning Honda Civic was found off U.S. Highway 101 across Sand Mine Road around 5:30 a.m. on July 16. She was nowhere to be found. It’s unclear whether the alleged drug deal had anything to do with Dickson’s disappearance.

Law enforcement has spoken with Miller, and while his story is based in fact, “the timelines don’t add up,” Morris said. “What we’re trying to do now is appeal to the soft part of him and have him tell us the truth, really for the purpose of getting him to tell us what happened to the young girl for the sake of her family.”

Her family has been agonizing for more than a week about Dickson’s whereabouts, Morris said. “Her family is unbelievably suffering,” he said. “And if something happened, they need closure, they need to take care of their daughter’s remains…that’s just eating the family up.”

Miller told authorities he drove back to Arcata after buying pot from Dickson. He said he threw the marijuana in the river because he was afraid of getting in trouble, Morris said. “That doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “His story is kind of breaking apart little by little, and that’s the idea. If we can get him broken down far enough, we can get him to crack.”

It may take days of weeks before lab results from the DOJ are complete, but officials are testing DNA from the trace blood evidence against samples of Dickson’s hair taken from her home. The blood sample may not be viable enough, Steven said, but the attempt is being made.

Because Miller hasn’t been arrested, he’s free to leave the area. Del Norte detectives were in contact with him Tuesday, Steven said.

http://eurekareporter.com/article/080723-arcata-man-27-now-considered-suspect-in-crescent-city-womans-disappearance
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2008, 08:09:49 PM »

Evidence seized following the disappearance of a Crescent City woman suspected to be the victim of foul play include the clothing, computer and truck of an Arcata man who’s been described as a “person of interest.”

The man, whose home was searched July 16, reportedly met with Michelle Ashlee Dickson the night of July 15 for a pot deal when she went to a beach picnic area just south of Crescent City.

“He has not been ruled out as being involved in her disappearance,” Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office Commander Bill Steven said. Officials seized the man’s computer because he may have researched ways to eliminate bodies and other evidence, he said. Evidence from Dickson’s burned car was also found, including samples that may have traces of accelerants, Steven said.

“There wasn’t a whole lot for us to work with — I have never seen a car burned so thorough as that one,” he said.

Dickson, who was 23 when she disappeared, allegedly sold the Arcata man three ounces of marijuana worth about $1,000, Steven said. Her burning Honda Civic was found off U.S. Highway 101 across Sand Mine Road around 5:30 a.m. on July 16, but she was nowhere to be found. It’s unclear whether the alleged drug deal may have had anything to do with Dickson’s disappearance.

Nearly a week after Dickson’s disappearance, officials continue chipping away at the case that’s been described as a rarity for the area.

“We’re trying to piece together evidence from the search warrant area and the scene and from all the people that have been interviewed,” Steven said.

The evidence seized from the Arcata man’s home, along with samples from Dickson’s car, have been sent to the California Department of Justice’s lab in Eureka, and Del Norte officials are anxiously awaiting the results.

Eureka DOJ lab senior criminalist Toby Baxter said initial processing should have been completed Wednesday afternoon, but the evidence may not produce anything dramatic or immediately useful for law enforcement.

“The type of thing we’re processing now may not yield evidence that’s important now, but may be important further down the line,” Baxter said.

Few details about the “person of interest” have been released, but Steven said he’s in the same age group as Dickson and has ties to Del Norte County. His relationship with Dickson was described as friendly and businesslike. It’s unknown how long they’ve known each other, Steven said.

“It’s like a puzzle and you have to keep working the pieces until they fit, hoping that they will fit,” he said.

http://eurekareporter.com/article/080722-arcata-man-still-a-person-in-interest-for-missing-woman
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2008, 03:21:40 PM »

Woman Missing a Week After NoCal Pot Deal

July 24, 2008
A man who bought three ounces of marijuana from a 23-year-old northern California woman has been named a suspect in her disappearance, police said.

By his own admission, Josiah M. Miller, 27, of Arcata, Calif., was among the last people to see Michelle Ashlee Dickson, of Crescent City, Calif., before her disappearance the night of July 15.

Miller has told police that he met her about 10:30 p.m. that night on U.S. Highway 101 to purchase three ounces of pot from her, Det. Sgt. Steve Morris, a spokesman for the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office, told ABCNews.com.

>>>>>the complete article
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=5441246&page=1
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2008, 06:40:09 PM »

BODY FOUND
Police believe woman was murdered & body dumped off Hwy. 101

02:27 PM PDT on Thursday, July 24, 2008
Police investigating a suspicious death after finding a woman’s body under a bridge along Highway 101 said Thursday they believe she was murdered.

Wednesday evening police and sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a body at the base of Thomas Creek Bridge.


Investigators remained on scene overnight. They were eventually able to confirm that the body was that of Michelle Dickson, a 23-year-old woman missing in California and believed murdered.


Dickson was last seen July 15th and the next day police found her Honda Civic, which had been set ablaze, just off Highway 101 near Crescent City.


An autopsy will be completed to determine exactly how Dickson was killed.


Thomas Creek Bridge is located on Highway 101, between Brookings and Gold Beach, Oregon.


Dickson was listed as missing in Del Norte County, California.
http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_072408_news_body_under_hwy_101_bridge_.88ce1df3.html
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2008, 07:56:17 PM »

According to Oregon Department of Transportation's "Oregon Coastal Highway Bridges" Web site, the Thomas Creek Bridge "is the highest bridge in Oregon at 345 feet and spans a deep ravine on the Oregon Coast."
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2008, 08:32:27 AM »

Suspect Arrested In Crescent City Woman's Murder

July 24, 2008 - 10:51AM

Police have arrested a 27 year old Arcata, California man, Josiah Miller, and charged him with murder in the death of 24-year old Michelle Dickson of Crescent City.

Dickson disappeared last Tuesday, July 15th, and Miller is believed to be the last person who saw her. According to investigators, they had met in a Crescent City picnic area where she was planning to sell Miller about three ounces of marijuana.

Dickson's burned out car was found the following morning and there was no sign of her until yesterday afternoon, when two hikers found her body beneath the Thomas Creek Bridge on Highway 101 between Brookings and Gold Beach. The positive identification was made using known tatoos and scars.

The exact cause of her death is not known, nor is it clear how long her body had been at the site when she was found. An autopsy is expected within the next few days.

Miller had been a "person of interest" in the case, and then became a suspect when investigators found blood in his pickup truck. It has not yet been determined if the blood is Dickson's.

http://www.ktvl.com/news/woman_11868...idge_body.html
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2008, 05:41:16 PM »

Eureka Times Standard (California)
 
July 31, 2008 Thursday 
 
Miller arraignment moved to Friday

Josiah Miller, a 27-year-old Arcata resident arrested last week for his alleged connection to the death of Michelle Ashlee Dickson, appeared for the second time in a Del Norte County court for arraignment Wednesday, but did not issue a plea.

A felony charge of abusing a corpse was issued in Curry County, Ore. for Miller, who now faces extradition. According to the Del Norte District Attorney's Office, Miller did not announce his intentions to waive or fight extradition.

His arraignment date has been rescheduled for Friday at 1 p.m.

During a Tuesday arraignment, Miller said he did not understand the charges against him, and asked to be assigned council, said Del Norte District Attorney Michael Riese.

Miller's attorney, Public Defender William Cater, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

According to Riese, Miller may choose to waive the extradition process, and be transported to Curry County within 10 days. Or, he may choose to fight extradition, which would put into place the lengthy process of moving him across the border.

The charge of abuse of a corpse stem from evidence, collected during the ongoing investigation, that indicates Dickson's body was dropped from the Thomas Creek Bridge between Brookings and Gold Beach, Riese said.

Miller was allegedly the last to see Dickson -- who friends report was a close acquaintance. Early in the investigation Miller told officers he had arranged to buy marijuana from Dickson on July 15, the night of her disappearance.

Dickson's car was discovered early the next morning, burning near the site of the alleged drug deal. Her body was found more than a week later, on July 24, having been dropped 345 feet off the tallest bridge in Oregon. 
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020825&docId=l:830249626&start=7
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2008, 09:03:02 PM »

Eureka Times Standard (California)
 
August 7, 2008 Thursday 
 
Michelle Dickson died from stabbing
 
Michelle Dickson, a 23-year-old Crescent City woman whose body was found below the tallest bridge in Oregon, died after she was stabbed multiple times in the chest, the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office released Wednesday.

Sheriff's Cmdr. Tim Athey said that an Oregon medical examiner determined Dickson died as a result of the stab wounds, but would not say how many times she was stabbed.

The weapon has not been found, and Athey said investigators still are not certain where Dickson died -- information that is crucial for prosecutors, who must file charges in the county where the death occurred.

Dickson was last seen July 15 when she reportedly arranged to meet with her friend -- Arcata resident Josiah Miller, 27 -- to sell him 3 ounces of marijuana near Crescent City. Her vehicle was discovered engulfed in flames the next morning near the site of the alleged drug deal.

Her body was found about one week later, beneath the 345-foot Thomas Creek Bridge that spans a seaside ravine between Brookings and Gold Beach, Ore.

Miller remains the primary suspect in the case. No homicide charges have been filed against him as investigators wait to determine where Dickson died. A felony charge of abusing a corpse was filed in Oregon as a result of Dickson's body being dropped from the Oregon bridge.

After her disappearance, Miller's truck was seized as evidence, and police reportedly found it had recently been thoroughly cleaned, and sections of the seat were cut away. Investigators found a positive match for a protein that may be blood, but authorities are still awaiting that information from the Department of Justice.

This month, Miller chose to fight extradition to Oregon, and he now waits in the Del Norte County jail for an identity hearing today.

A governor's warrant will likely follow and, according to Del Norte County District Attorney Michael Riese, it may take between 45 to 90 days to bring Miller to Curry County where he will enter a plea.

Riese said often during homicide investigations, detectives intentionally leak inaccurate information. The week Dickson disappeared, authorities told Miller they found Dickson's blood in his vehicle.

"We didn't have her blood," Riese said. "But he bit. He said she cut her hand on his seat. Any other facts that we know we have to keep close to the vest."

The facts regarding her cause of death were released after the information was leaked to a Del Norte newspaper by an unnamed Curry County Public Health Department official.

Several lead investigators expressed their frustration about the leak Wednesday.

Oregon State Police detective Blain Allen said investigators intended to keep the information out of public knowledge, so that during interviews they would be able to find individuals with intimate knowledge of the alleged crime.

"When you print that information in the paper, everybody knows it, and then it's not a good tool to interview people with," Allen said.
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020825&docId=l:833546480&start=8
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« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2008, 01:09:24 PM »

Eureka Times Standard (California)
 
September 16, 2008 Tuesday 
 
Miller arraigned in Oregon for murder, corpse abuse
 
Josiah Miller, an Arcata man accused of killing a 23-year-old Crescent City woman, was charged with murder and abusing a corpse at his arraignment in an Oregon court Monday morning.

The 27-year-old Miller, who remains the only suspect in the stabbing death of Michelle Ashlee Dickson, did not enter a plea, the Curry County District Attorney's Office reported.

His bail has been set at $1 million by Judge Cynthia Bearman. Curry County Deputy District Attorney Scott Jackson has been appointed the lead prosecutor in the case.

Miller was transported to a Curry County jail on Sunday from his cell at the Del Norte County jail, where he has been since his July 24 arrest. He was arrested the same day authorities removed Dickson's body from underneath the 345-foot-tall Thomas Creek Bridge.

Miller, reportedly the last person to see Dickson alive, is accused of dropping her body from the bridge, resulting in the abuse of a corpse charge.

Miller was extradited on the abuse of a corpse charge. Oregon State Police Detective Blain Allen said the murder charge was filed in Oregon since no similar charge has been issued against Miller in California.

"If California, at a later date, does produce the evidence to show something different, we would certainly cooperate with them," Allen said. "So far (the Del Norte County District Attorney's Office) haven't stepped up to the plate and done that."

Authorities continue to wait for the California Department of Justice crime labs to process evidence, and according to Del Norte County District Attorney Michael Riese, investigators still are not certain whether Dickson died in California or Oregon. The state in which she died is important in determining which state has jurisdiction to try Miller for murder.

Allen said Oregon law allows prosecutors to file murder charges against Miller because the body was found within their jurisdiction.

Miller was a close acquaintance of Dickson, and allegedly drove from Arcata to purchase marijuana from her in Crescent City on July 15. The woman's car was found the next morning, engulfed in flames near the site of the alleged drug deal.

Investigators with the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office reported that Miller admitted to authorities he made the trip, but he has denied killing Dickson.

After her disappearance, Miller's truck was seized as evidence. Investigators reportedly found Miller had thoroughly cleaned his vehicle, even cutting swaths of fabric from the seats the morning after meeting Dickson.

Allen said investigators in Oregon will re-examine their case this week, and may alter the charges.

Miller is slated to return to court Wednesday for a pretrial conference.
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020825&docId=l:852275674&start=2
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2008, 05:51:57 PM »

Eureka Times Standard (California)
 
September 19, 2008 Friday 
 
Oregon Grand Jury accepts Miller indictment

The Curry County Grand Jury agreed Thursday that prosecuting attorneys have sufficient evidence to try Josiah Miller for the murder of 23-year-old Crescent City woman Michelle Ashlee Dickson.

According to the Curry County District Attorney's Office, the grand jury handed an indictment to Deputy District Attorney Scott Jackson allowing him to go forward with the case.

Miller met with Oregon defense attorney James Gardner Thursday, but has not yet issued a plea to charges of murder and abuse of a corpse -- a charge that stems from allegations that he dropped Dickson's body off the 345-foot tall Thomas Creek Bridge in Oregon.

Miller will appear in court for his pretrial hearing today. He remains incarcerated at the Curry County jail, where his bail is set at $1 million.

The investigation into where the alleged murder occurred continues. Authorities still are not certain whether Dickson died in Oregon or California, which is information they need to decide where Miller will be tried.

According to Oregon State Police Detective Blain Allen, Oregon law allows attorneys to charge Miller with murder, despite their lack of evidence as to the place of Dickson's death.

"Now if California decides they do have enough information, at a later date, to indict him on murder, then we may send him back," Allen said.

Miller was a close acquaintance of Dickson, and allegedly drove from Arcata to Crescent City to purchase marijuana from her on July 15. The woman's car was found the next morning, engulfed in flames near the site of the alleged drug deal.

Investigators with the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office reported that Miller admitted to authorities he made the trip, but he has denied killing Dickson.

After her disappearance, Miller's truck was seized as evidence. Investigators reportedly found that Miller had thoroughly cleaned his vehicle, even cutting swaths of fabric from the seats the morning after meeting Dickson.
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2009, 02:44:28 PM »

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Miller faces Jan. 21 deadline for extradition
Sean Garmire/The Times-Standard
Posted: 12/30/2008 01:19:00 AM PST


In the latest move in an ongoing legal exchange across state lines, the Curry County Superior Court has given Del Norte County until Jan. 21 to extradite Josiah Miller.

Del Norte District Attorney's Office staff confirmed the 27-year-old Arcata man was charged in Del Norte County on Dec. 18 with the murder of Michelle Ashlee Dickson -- a 23-year-old woman whose body was dropped from the highest bridge in Oregon.

The murder charge includes a weapons enhancement, related to the stabbing death of Dickson. Miller will also face a felony arson charge for allegedly burning Dickson's vehicle in a seaside parking lot south of Crescent City.

Investigators have long suspected Dickson was murdered in California, but lacking sufficient evidence, attorneys decided to charge Miller -- the only suspect in the case -- in Oregon, where the body was found.

This time, Miller has agreed to be moved across the state border. But for nearly two months after his arrest Miller refused to waive extradition, prompting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign a governor's warrant to force his extradition.

In September, Miller was transported to the Curry County jail where he faced charges of murder and abuse of a corpse -- a charge related to the dropping of Dickson's body from the 345-foot-tall Thomas Creek Bridge.

That charge has since been dropped in Curry County. On Monday, Everett Dial, Curry County's district attorney, wrote that he received evidence from investigators

linking the murder to a location in Del Norte County after charges had been filed in Oregon, but before Miller's pretrial date on Dec. 23.
Although the charges have been dropped, Dial wrote, “it may be possible to refile them.”

Dial would not disclose what the decisive new evidence was, and Del Norte County District Attorney Mike Riese was unavailable for comment Monday.

Miller's bail has been set at $1 million.
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