Three bodies discovered in Washburn

Sunday, July 20, 2008

By Lisa Schlichtman

The bodies of two men and one woman were discovered Friday night near the Southwest High School baseball fields. The three deaths are now being investigated by the Barry County Sheriff's Department and troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control.

The deceased have been identified as Carl D. Miller, 42, of Washburn, Rhonda R. Miller, 39, of Washburn, and Donald F. Horton, Jr., 45, of Bentonville, Ark.

According to a report issued by the Highway Patrol, a trooper travelling through the town of Washburn stopped at the Southwest ballfields to check on three parked vehicles at approximately 10:00 p.m. on July 18. Upon inspection of the area, the trooper discovered three bodies near the sporting complex.

Initial newspaper reports indicate that Rhonda Miller and Horton suffered multiple gunshot wounds and Carl Miller died from a single gunshot. The Millers had divorced in 2007, and law enforcement officials said Rhonda Miller and Horton were involved in a dating relationship.

Autopsies on the three bodies are scheduled for Monday, and the investigation into the deaths is continuing.

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  • yes lets please pray for all this family, i knew carl miller & i can tell you what happened derived not from him feeling that if he could not have her no one could, yes he was distraught & upset,their marriage was over & all because she hurt him too many times, i am sorry previous poster but you are wrong

    -- Posted by cgurl08 on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 5:02 PM
  • I don't want to step on anyones toes, but we need to remember that there are still two children who need all the love and support that they can get at this time. They don't need to hear whos to blame, or who said what or anything like that. Their lives go on!!!!! They may never know why this happened and they may not ever want to know. So out of respect for the children please don't blame and point fingers. I think they have enough to worry about.

    -- Posted by feedmill101 on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 6:31 PM
  • I think that this is a super tragic thing that has happened. My heart goes out to the kids. It doesn't matter what those adults lives were like, it doesn't matter who hurt who or how... really people go through divorces all the time, with kids involved... moms and yes dads use those kids against each other all the time. It's up to the adults to be exactly that and know right from wrong period. Whose to blame who knows, and really really it doesnt matter anymore does it?? What matters is that everyone else let the blame go and support these babies forget all your hate and all your blame.

    -- Posted by Robyn b on Tue, Jul 22, 2008, at 9:52 AM
  • It seems to me that all whom have posted did Not know both Rhonda and Carl;myself included.

    I have been a co-worker of Rhondas for the last ten years. She talked daily of her Love for her children-from the time they were young and even last friday,during work. I don't think anyone will truly understand how much she Loved them.

    When Carl and Rhonda were still in-Love she talked of the fun things that they did also.

    It's sad that it had to come to this.!!!

    -- Posted by justme65625 on Tue, Jul 22, 2008, at 6:20 PM
  • I did not know any of the deceased personally. Rhonda was know by some of my family and friends but not by me personally. That being said I would like to offer a thought to those who think they knew each of the deceased.

    You NEVER really know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. What Rhonda did to hurt Carl or what Carl did to hurt Rhonda doesn't really matter now!! None of us alive know what events transpired on Friday night. Many of us will sit here and speculate but no one will ever know exactly what was said prior to the shootings. We do however know that 3 people are dead and there is not one thing in this world that can EVER change that fact.

    Each of the deceased left behind many many friends and family to grieve. But they also left a county stunned that this could ever happen in our neck of the woods.

    To the friends and family of the deceased, I encourage you to grieve but also to live, we all know Rhonda would not want us to dwell on her death but to celebrate her life!!!

    We should all be thankful for knowing each of the individuals!!

    -- Posted by justabystander on Tue, Jul 22, 2008, at 7:17 PM
  • Everyone is right in saying that we don't and will never know what really happened. I knew them both and was friends with them both on a very deep level. I saw the love, the hurt, the trust and the betrayal. Who was wrong? Both of them. Who is the innocent party? Neither of them. This was a couple that met and married when love was the thing that drove them. Unfortunately something broke down in their marriage. One went looking somewere else while the other turned a blind eye. One allowed things to go on too long while the other took on the submissive role. One took advantage while the other allowed it. One stood up for right while the other ran away. One went crazy while the other didn't care. One set this whole thing in motion while the other finished it with a gun. What happened in those last few moments? What words were said? Is it really for us to sit and debate and argue over? I don't think so. We should learn from the story of my friends Carl and Rhonda. He was a gentleman and she as a sweet little lady. Together they make me realize that life is not for certain tomorrow and that I need to be ready now. This is a very bad tragedy. Divorce really sucks and there is no good ending to it. Commitment folks. It means you are in it for the long haul. Sickness and health. Richer and poorer. Till death do you part. Think about it people. I lost two friends today when I saw it on the news. Learn from their mistakes.

    -- Posted by JustAFriend on Tue, Jul 22, 2008, at 7:31 PM
  • Rhonda was a sweet, non-judgemental person and my kids and I love her. She showed me kindness and concern as I am a recently divorced Mom of 4. I can't imagine anyone looking at her and being able to hurt her. She will be missed by me and my kids. Lena

    -- Posted by lena123 on Tue, Jul 22, 2008, at 8:02 PM
  • irish1305 could i please get your email address? i am family of the deseased & would love to hear from you, i care about those kids so much & am so far away right now all i can do is talk to them on the phone i want to hug them so much pls email me i would really appreciate it

    -- Posted by cgurl08 on Wed, Jul 23, 2008, at 8:14 AM
  • We knew Carl, Rhonda, and Don. They were all great friends and wonderful people. It doesn't matter how or why this happened. We can blame them, or we can blame ourselves for not really believing this could happen, but it will not help anyone. What matters now is helping their family through this. I do not know any of their family, now I wish I had met them. The children will need each other, and the support of their friends and family to get through this. Carl and Rhonda loved their children. Their children were also their best friends, and they loved spending time with them.

    -- Posted by k-n-m on Thu, Jul 24, 2008, at 11:43 AM
  • Knowing them both for a long time, it is obvious that they both had alot of fault in this sad event. Please stop blaming one or the other, they both knew they had entered a period of hurting each other. I have heard the words "I deserve____" then whatever it is that they wanted at the time. Yes, they loved thier kids, and even each other. Yes, they knew what they were doing was wrong but it seems they couldn't turn back, too much hurt and pride and terrible things said by both of them. We who knew them both wish we could turn the clock back but we can't. I want to believe they know better now and would like us all to focus on healing, especially the children, and forgivness. It's hard. But they would want that. Forgive Carl, Forgive Rhonda.

    -- Posted by vgfriend on Thu, Jul 24, 2008, at 6:43 PM
  • i have one thought to share.


    this was a tragic event. we shouldn't use this article as a way to post this he-said, she-said bullcrap. its not for us to make judgment on who was wrong and who was right here. it is our responsibility to recognize that what happened here was a tragic loss of lives. i want everyone that posted a bias comment here to think about this: what if one of those kids that were left behind gets on here? and reads comments from people that had nothing better to do than argue over which of their parents was the worst. all i ask is that everyone show enough respect and common decency to not do this to those children. how would you feel if you were in their shoes and you read some of the comments that were left here?

    -- Posted by notsosilentobserver on Thu, Jul 24, 2008, at 8:42 PM
  • This tragedy has been a long time in the making. The facts are that Carl found Rhonda and Don that night. They didnt bring a fight to him, he went looking for it. It was Carl that brought a gun, not Rhonda or Don. It was Carl that murdered two people and then took his own life which is clear to see with the evidence provided. Rhonda feared that man and was controlled by him through fear most of her adult life. It is nice to know that before she passed she found happiness and security with a very nice man in Don and was with the family for her last Christmas. (This was the first Christmas in probably 20 years that she had been to)

    -- Posted by familyman417 on Fri, Jul 25, 2008, at 10:45 PM
  • To our on-line readers:

    We appreciate all the comments that have been received regarding this tragic story. Due to the number of comments that were posted and the fact that the comments were becoming increasingly angry in nature, we were forced to delete some of them. This is an editorial decision that was made with family members in mind. We will continue to accept comments regarding this story but we ask that those submitting comments be respectful of others.

    -- Posted by demoeditor on Tue, Jul 29, 2008, at 1:55 PM
  • All of my post have been deleted so I will just say this, Rhonda is in heaven now. God bless Kyle and Jamie and the Washam family. I'm so glad that I got to meet you all (you know who I'm taking about) at the park. And, I'm really happy that her last Christmas was spent with all of you, the ones she held deep in her heart.

    -- Posted by missourigal69 on Wed, Jul 30, 2008, at 8:55 PM
  • Anger is normal and takes a long time to diminish. I've felt like saying "what are you thinking?!!" to both Carl and Rhonda off and on for a year now. I guess I'll have bouts of anger every so often for a long time. Forgivness is all I can give now..... for all of us...angry and hurt alike. It WILL heal, They would want us to do this for the families sake. Please please try to forgive and put away blame.

    -- Posted by vgfriend on Fri, Aug 1, 2008, at 9:14 AM
  • I was a member of this family and scared to death of Carl. This is not just something that came about. Rhonda was my daughters aunt and she never got to meet her and my daughter is now 12 because Carl took it upon himself to not let her communicate with her family until recently. Everyone who has commented doesn't know how Carl was...He is a man who threw my father in law, beat his family, had his mother in law scared to death and personally chased me going 120mph through town and tried running me and my 3 month old child off the road the first time I met him after he blocked me in at a gas station and I had to call the cops for help. He was a very violent person and I am sorry that it came to this but he always had a saying that if Rhonda ever left he would kill her and we as her family feared for her life and she did not leave for that sake. She waited until the kids were grown before putting herself in danger. She was not allowed at Christmas or any holidays because Carl would not allow her to come and because of that my 12 year old never knew her aunt. Please know the behind the scenes story before you post that Carl was all that and a bag of chips. She lived a life away from her family and friends due to that man and for that I will never forgive him. Rest in peace Rhonda.

    -- Posted by jaimiewasham on Tue, Aug 19, 2008, at 7:48 PM
  • Thank you JaimieWasham for the truth. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. I visit her grave when I'm in Aurora, lovely stone. Rhonda was a GREAT person.

    -- Posted by missourigal69 on Sun, Nov 16, 2008, at 1:03 AM
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