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MALONE — State Police spent Tuesday afternoon conducting interviews and searching a Chateaugay home in connection with Ravin Miller’s murder.

Troop B Commander Maj. Richard C. Smith Jr. declined to identify who owns the rundown house at 776 Route 52. Investigators cordoned off the debris-filled property and scoured the residence Tuesday afternoon.

Marked and unmarked police vehicles lined the rural roadway as authorities searched the two-story home for evidence connected to the 51-year-old’s death.

Smith said they started searching the house at 1 p.m., looking for “instrumentalities,” which usually means a weapon.



INTERVIEWS

Police have been actively investigating Miller’s death since he was found inside his Route 11 home in Churubusco Aug. 20, but it wasn’t until this week that it was deemed a homicide.

Autopsy findings have attributed the local contractor’s death to asphyxiation due to strangulation.

Authorities have not said whether they believe Miller was specifically targeted or fell victim to a random act of violence.

Smith said late Tuesday afternoon that several intense interviews were under way, though no arrests had been made.

He declined to identify any possible suspects or elaborate on how authorities believe Miller’s home was tampered with after his death, which was apparently made to look like a suicide.

Though more than two months passed before Miller’s death was officially classified as a homicide, Smith said, the uncertainty about his cause of death did not affect how the investigation was conducted.

“We work to the greatest extent possible” in every investigation, he said during an afternoon briefing in Malone.



TOWNSPEOPLE WARY

His death prompted widespread rumors and speculation within the close-knit northern community and remained the topic of conversation Tuesday.

“Everyone has been concerned right from the start,” said Dick Decosse, owner of Dick’s Country Store, which Miller often frequented for gas and supplies.

“I think a lot of people expected that there was more to this. No one has really seemed surprised by the news.”



‘GOOD GUY’

Decosse remembered Miller as a hard worker who put countless hours into his contracting company while also doing landscaping work and serving as an equipment operator for the Clinton County Highway Department.

He said Miller enjoyed playing guitar during his spare time.

“He was a really good guy. It’s just horrible what happened to him, and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to do something like this to him.

“I just hope they catch the guy.”

Miller was not married and left behind his parents, Veronica and Harold, and a sister.

State Police were continuing to process the Route 52 home and conduct interviews Tuesday night and declined to say more about the ongoing investigation.



E-mail Andrea VanValkenburg at:

avanvalkenburg@pressrepublican.com

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