Panola County man accused of abducting estranged wife captured

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PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. — Panola County authorities say a suspect was captured Tuesday in Arkansas after he allegedly kidnapped and assaulted a woman in Mississippi.

The Panola County Sheriff’s Office said Zachary Miller, 31, went to his estranged wife’s home around 2 p.m. on Sees Chapel Road in the Longtown area.

Investigators say they received a panicked 911 call from the woman’s mother after the victim texted her a picture of her bloody face.

“When officers arrived and saw the blood and the hole in the door where she was in her bedroom locked up, it went to a whole new level,” said criminal investigator Tyler Mills with the Panola County Sheriff’s Department.

The victim was too shaken up to talk on camera, but she told us Miller showed up and demanded she go with him. When she refused, she said he hit her in the head with a gun and knocked her out cold.

“The house was, I wouldn’t say ransacked, but the drawers were open, there was a hole in the door,” said Mills.

The victim says Miller forced her at gunpoint into his truck, saying they were going to Arkansas. She says he kept the gun by his side, even firing it in the truck at times.

He stopped at his father’s house on the way. She thinks it was drug-related.

When he got out of the truck, the victim said she ran into the home and told his dad’s girlfriend to take her to the hospital.

She says Miller was looking for her but then drove off. Investigators say his father’s girlfriend talked Miller into leaving.

“He has ties in Marshall County, has ties in Tennessee, he has ties in Arkansas, so it was just kind of a needle in the haystack. We didn’t know where to begin to start to look at.”

Detectives told all nearby agencies to be on the look-out, while also monitoring Miller’s phone activity.

It cut off for awhile and then became active in Arkansas. State police arrested him outside of Jonesboro around 3:30 p.m. and reported finding the gun.

The victim and her mother got the news at the Methodist hospital in Olive Branch.

“She was so excited and thankful and happy we were able to get him in custody.”

But while in the hospital, the victim said she also received heartbreaking news — She had a miscarriage.

She says she was eight weeks pregnant with Miller’s child. It would’ve been their second kid together.

She told us she thinks it was a life for a life.

Investigators expect Miller to be extradited from Arkansas to Mississippi within the next few days.

He already had a warrant out for his arrest for violating his MDOC probation/parole. He was out on a drug conviction.

Miller will be extradited back for burglary of an occupied dwelling and kidnapping. He also faces felon in possession of weapon. Four investigators are working on the case.


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