Arrest made in double slaying

Posted Dec. 12, 2009, at 12:25 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:08 p.m.
State Police also released a composite drawing of a middle aged woman who was seen at the Miller home on Saturday morning.  Detectives say they would like to identify her so they can speak to her.  The woman is described as in her mid 50s, about 5'3" to 5'4" tall and weighing about 130 pounds.  She had dark hair tied into a pony tail and her hair was graying at the banks . The woman also wore bi-focal eye glasses.   PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MAINE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
THE MAINE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC S
State Police also released a composite drawing of a middle aged woman who was seen at the Miller home on Saturday morning. Detectives say they would like to identify her so they can speak to her. The woman is described as in her mid 50s, about 5'3" to 5'4" tall and weighing about 130 pounds. She had dark hair tied into a pony tail and her hair was graying at the banks . The woman also wore bi-focal eye glasses. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MAINE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Nathaneal K. Nightingale, arrested by Maine State Police in the early morning hours on Saturday, December 12, 2009 for the November 28, 2009 murders of Michael and Valerie Miller of Webster Plantation. (Photo courtesy of the Penobscot County Jail)
Penobscot County Jail
Nathaneal K. Nightingale, arrested by Maine State Police in the early morning hours on Saturday, December 12, 2009 for the November 28, 2009 murders of Michael and Valerie Miller of Webster Plantation. (Photo courtesy of the Penobscot County Jail)
Police arrested Nathaneal K. Nightingale at 178 Fogg Lane in Burlington shortly after midnight Saturday. Nightingale is being charged in the shooting deaths of Michael and Valerie Miller at their Webster Plantation home on Nov. 28. Buy Photo
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT
Police arrested Nathaneal K. Nightingale at 178 Fogg Lane in Burlington shortly after midnight Saturday. Nightingale is being charged in the shooting deaths of Michael and Valerie Miller at their Webster Plantation home on Nov. 28. Buy Photo
Webster Plantation homicide victims Valerie and Michael Miller Sr. in 2008. (Photo courtesy of the Miller family)
Webster Plantation homicide victims Valerie and Michael Miller Sr. in 2008. (Photo courtesy of the Miller family)

WEBSTER PLANTATION, Maine — A Burlington man and former Penobscot Valley High School wrestler was being held without bail Sunday on charges he killed a Webster Plantation couple last month in an apparent robbery gone wrong.

Nathaneal K. Nightingale, 31, was taken into custody by Maine State Police detectives at 1 a.m. Saturday at his Fogg Lane home in Burlington, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland. He was charged with two counts of murder in connection with the Nov. 28 shooting deaths of Michael Miller Sr. and Valerie Miller, both 47.

The couple were found just before 1 p.m. Nov. 28 in the kitchen of their Tucker Ridge Road mobile home by a visiting friend who called 911 because no one answered the door, McCausland has said.

McCausland said Saturday he was not sure if Nightingale was the man who reportedly discovered the bodies.

“He was the one who gave the information for the composite [sketch] that was done,” McCausland said.

Nightingale told police he was a family acquaintance of the Millers and sat with a forensic artist to create a composite sketch of a suspect woman who is not believed to exist, state police said.

Witnesses have said Michael Miller had at least one bullet wound to the back of the neck, while his wife had a wound to her temple. Family members have said that police told them Miller was found face-up on the floor of his kitchen, his legs tucked behind him. Valerie Miller was next to him, her head on his chest.

Both wounds apparently drew very little visible blood, at least as could be seen from the outside of the home. The Lee Fire Department was called to the scene because police feared the two might have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide tests were negative.

State police have not described the wounds or the positioning of the bodies, nor are they releasing information about the type of weapon used, including whether it was a handgun or rifle, McCausland said Sunday.

“It’s not something we’re going to release at this point,” he said.

Michael Miller was a recently laid-off mill worker; Valerie Miller, a housewife.

Nightingale was taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor after his arrest Saturday morning and is expected to have his first court appearance and bail hearing early this week.

Police would not reveal if evidence tying him to the crime was found at his home.

“Details of the case we’re not talking about at this point,” McCausland said.

A criminal history check Sunday revealed Nightingale has one prior conviction for operating under the influence in Rangeley in May 2005 for which he paid a $500 fine.

News of the arrest reached mourners at the funeral service for the Millers at Clay Funeral Home on Saturday. About 50 people attended, including Michael Miller Jr., one of the couple’s sons, with his fiancee, Alexis Lord, at his side.

The Millers’ other son, Matthew, also attended the service. He is serving a 30-day sentence at the Piscataquis County Jail for passing bad checks, court officials said, but was allowed to attend the service. He is due to be released on Dec. 27.

Michael Miller Jr. declined through an intermediary to comment on news of the arrest.

Nightingale is a 1997 graduate of Penobscot Valley High School in Howland and was a member of the Howlers’ wrestling team that won 72 straight meets. His team was among those that had won five consecutive state titles and two Penobscot Valley Conference crowns and ranked among the top 50 high schools nationally.

He also had won a scholarship upon graduation from Hallett’s Doors and Windows.

Nick Sambides reported from Lincoln and Nok-Noi Ricker reported from Bangor. BDN reporter Judy Harrison also contributed to this report.

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