Heartbroken Charlotte Murray family fear killer chef was controlling her
The family of Charlotte Murray have opened up about their heartache and revealed fears her killer was controlling her in the months before her death.
And while they welcomed the quick and unanimous guilty verdict that was handed down to chef Johnny Miller on Tuesday, as the dust settles a few days later, they say it was far from enough to ease their pain.
“The verdict was good, of course,” said Denise, Charlotte’s identical twin, “but it’s not enough.
“The relief that he’d been found guilty was what we’d been hoping for, but it was short-lived because as soon as we got home reality hit.
“The facts are still the same. She’s still gone. We still don’t have her body home and we still haven’t had the chance to say goodbye.
“Charlotte deserves a proper, decent burial and her family deserve the chance to mourn her.”
After a four-week trial a jury at Dungannon Crown Court took just three hours to convict Coleraine-born Miller of Charlotte’s murder.
Throughout his trial the 48-year-old denied harming her, and claimed he did not believe she was dead.
Members of her heartbroken family attended every day of the trial – and despite the harrowing nature of the case her mother Mary didn’t miss a day.
“It was terrible to listen to some of it,” said Mary (65). “Every day you went in you just didn’t know what would be next, but I had to be there for Charlotte.”
Denise says if one positive thing can come out of her sister’s death, it would be for families to be more alert to the danger signs of “controlling” relationships.
She added: “Johnny Miller took her away from us. She moved in with him just a couple of months after they met, miles away from where we all lived in Omagh, and then she was gone.
“It would be the odd phone call or a message on Facebook.
“We’re convinced he was controlling her, and she once asked my mum if she still loved her. Why would she ask her that? He put it in her head.
“Charlotte got a call late at night over something to do with me, and he went mad. She was upset with me then because they’d argued, and we fell out.
“We never spoke again. I thought it would blow over, but before we got a chance to make it up, it was too late.”
Miller is due to be sentenced next month.
Charlotte's family are determined her legacy will live on. We will have an extensive interview with the family on their efforts in Saturday's Belfast Telegraph.
Belfast Telegraph Digital