On Dec. 22, 2005, the Millers’ teenage son telephoned South Jordan police to report that he was held down while his father cut his long hair. It was punishment for the child and his friends damaging the bedroom of another Miller child while they were drinking.
According to the police report, both Lohra and husband Lorenzo Miller confirmed the child’s story and the drinking. After giving a warning about appropriate punishment of children, the responding officer closed the case.
Lt. Hansen says the reason the report didn’t come up during last year’s investigation was that the police searched their records only for times they responded to neighbor complaints of parties.
So Hansen limited his record search to the two previous years, after the 2005 incident. The attorney general’s office, however, says it had all relevant police reports for its investigation.
In addition to searching police reports, Hansen asked the department’s dispatching agency to look for anyone reporting disturbing parties at the Miller house. Despite neighbors’ claims they had telephoned police several times, no records came back.
Hansen says had there been any out-of-control parties police would have found them since the neighborhood received many extra patrols—16 in 2007—by police looking out for home construction building material thieves.
The police reports of responses to the Miller neighborhood that do exist don’t list a party as the reason for the call, nor that a party was found when police got there. One is a report of graffiti spray painted on the Millers’ curb. The other is a report of young people playing “chicken” with their cars in the cul-de-sac. The cars were gone when police arrived.
However, the man who phoned in the “chicken” report, neighbor Gary Zielinski, says the dangerous road games were a result of a Miller house party spilling onto the street about 11 p.m. Zielinski also says he witnessed the graffiti painting and that it, too, was done by young partygoers.
Brett Fabert, who was tracked down by PI Gabler’s team and who is from the Millers’ old West Jordan neighborhood, recalls traveling to South Jordan for a Halloween party at the Miller house in 2006. The party, held prior to but not discovered in the attorney general’s investigation, wasn’t hosted by the Millers. It was thrown by “a kid,” age 23 or 24, who had been one year ahead of Fabert at high school to whom the Millers rented a basement room. Fabert says there were several underage people drinking at the party.
A Miller child was having a party of his own in the main house the same night. Fabert doesn’t know what happened upstairs. He says one of the Millers’ sons dropped by the basement party occasionally to “hang out.” Lorenzo Miller also popped his head in and out, mostly to tell downstairs partiers to keep the noise down after the neighbors called.
“There wasn’t anything crazy going on,” says Fabert. Sure, there was a DJ downstairs and the windows were open. But he didn’t see why the neighbors complained. “There was a bunch of liquor—the kid downstairs bought a bunch of liquor—but it wasn’t out of control at all. I’ve been to a lot worse parties.”
Steve Trayner, the only other neighbor besides the Zielinskis in the Millers’ three-home cul-de-sac, says nothing happens at the Millers’ home that wouldn’t be expected from any home with teenagers. “Their teenagers are a little wilder than mine,” he says, but it’s “pretty minor stuff.” Nothing that’s ever led him to call the police.
The issues about the home office and day care, he says, “nobody would pay attention to if she wasn’t the DA.” And that’s the point.