Six Nations, police and families plead for community help to solve triple homicide

Homicide investigators, Six Nations officials and grieving family members all made emotional pleas for anyone with information about the killings of a woman and two men from the reserve near Hamilton to come forward.

Melissa Trudi Miller, 37, was 7 months pregnant when she was killed earlier this month

Trevor Miller, left, brother of homicide victim Melissa Trudi Miller and Jock Hill, representing the family of Alan Grant Porter, who was also slain, urged anyone with information about the killings to come forward. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

With tears streaming down a face crumpled in grief and a portrait of his slain sister clutched in both hands, Trevor Miller made a desperate plea — "Please, anybody. Somebody knows something."

Melissa Trudi Miller's body was found in or near a pickup truck on a rural road near London earlier this month, along with the remains of Alan Grant Porter, 33, and Michael Shane Jamieson, 31.

All three were victims of homicide, investigators say. 

Miller, a mother of five, was seven months pregnant when she was killed, police revealed for the first time during a news conference held on Six Nations reserve near Hamilton Thursday

"I'm losing a nephew I never even met. So please, somebody," gasped her brother, before his grief overcame him and he had to leave the room.

Miller's emotional cry for help was echoed by homicide investigators, Six Nations officials and other grieving family members who gathered to beg anyone with information to come forward.

They called on members of the First Nations community to get past any fear or reluctance to help investigators and fulfil their obligation to the people around them.

"We have to live with the pain and heartbreak and as a community try to heal from these events and move forward.... We can only do so if we get the information we need from you, this community," said Darren Montour, acting deputy chief of Six Nations Police.

The Six Nations and Haudenosaunee community is one of laws and justice, said Jock Hill, speaking on behalf of the Porter family. "By not sharing information, that's not right. If you have information, bring it forward. I know it's out there."

This is our home. Let's work together to make it safe for all of us.- Darren  Montour , Six Nations Police

The bodies of Miller, 37, Porter and Jamieson were found in Middlesex Centre near London, Ont., around 10 a.m. ET on Nov. 4 after reports of a grey pickup truck in a field. Their bodies were discovered along with the stolen truck.

Montour described the victims as "close friends," noting Miller and Porter were cousins. Family members say Porter and Jamieson were "inseparable."

"Help us help Mike, Al and Melissa," he said. "This community needs you. By working together we can solve this tragic crime."

Montour said police have received some tips so far and are committed to examining every lead they get, but said investigators are struggling with "reluctance" from the community.

"That's based on historical stuff… as far as outside agencies coming to police this community," he explained, adding members of the First Nation should be prepared to see a lot more provincial police officers on the reserve in the coming days. 

"We need to build that trust."

The homicides have rattled Six Nations, according to Sherri-Lyn Hill Pierce, a member of the band council, who called them "devastating and heartbreaking." 

She stressed each of the victims had a loving family, but the pain and loss has been felt by all.

"It is not just the families who are suffering. It has a ripple effect on the whole community."

All information is relevant

Det. Insp. Peter Liptrott of the Ontario Provincial Police declined to reveal any new information about the homicides. He would not say how the three were killed, but did say so far police haven't taken anyone into custody in connection with the investigation.

He stressed that even small pieces of information that someone might not think are relevant could be important.

Investigators specifically want to hear from anyone who saw a 2006 Chevy Silverado pickup truck on Six Nations or in the area between the reserve and where the bodies were found. They are also interested in any information about the movements and activities of the three victims in the days prior to their deaths. 

The bodies were found in the same general area where the remains of Douglas Hill were discovered in August 2017.

Media reports indicate the 48-year-old Brantford man was Miller's common-law spouse.

Liptrott declined to comment on any possible connections between the cases, but said police are investigating the three recent killings as a separate incident at this time.

Family members of the three Six Nations members whose bodies found in a field near London, Ont. earlier this month joined investigators Thursday to issue an emotional plea to the public for help solving the homicides. (Jasmine Kabatay/CBC)

Community responsibility

Montour said the community is grieving but must work together to ensure the future of Six Nation is a safe one.

"This is our home, let's work together to make it safe for all of us."

The news conference came after police put out a poster — declaring "Find our killer" alongside photos of Miller, Porter and Jamieson and the truck.

Anyone with information about the truck or homicides is asked to call the OPP tipline specifically set up for the investigation at 1-844-677-5050, the Six Nations Police Service at 519-445-2811 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Ontario Provincial Police have released photos of three people who were found dead in the Township of Middlesex Centre on Nov. 3. (Submitted)

About the Author

Dan Taekema

Dan Taekema is a reporter/editor with CBC Hamilton. Email: daniel.taekema@cbc.ca