Belfast Telegraph

Killer chef Johnny Miller made Facebook plea after murdering Charlotte Murray

Convicted killer Johnny Miller
Convicted killer Johnny Miller
Charlotte Murray

By Michael Donnelly and Adrian Rutherford

A man who murdered his ex-fiancee made a heartless plea for information months after he killed her and secretly buried her body.

Johnny Miller tried to con people into believing he was desperately worried about Charlotte Murray who had vanished.

But yesterday a jury took just three hours to unanimously convict the 48-year-old of murder following a four-week trial at Dungannon Crown Court.

Afterwards Charlotte's heartbroken family urged Miller "to do the right thing, the honourable thing" and reveal where he had left her body, so they could "grieve properly".

As the foreman of the jury of eight men and four women announced their verdict, Miller buried his head in his hands, sighing deeply.

Judge Stephen Fowler QC told Miller: "There is only one sentence I can impose in respect of murder, which is life imprisonment, and I impose it".

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Charlotte Murray

In the public gallery, Charlotte's family, including her mother Mary and identical twin sister Denise, wept.

Outside court, and surrounded by family and friends, Denise read a family statement.

She said: "Today we have received justice for our sister Charlotte. It is a day our family and especially our mother have waited patiently for.

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Family embrace outside court after the verdict

"We would like to thank the jury for taking the time out of their lives and delivering the correct verdict, however, we still do not have Charlotte back."

Her voice shaking with emotion, Denise added: "We are now appealing to Mr Miller to do the decent thing, the honourable thing, and let us know where Charlotte's body is, so we can bring her home.

"We would appeal to anyone who has information as to the whereabouts of Charlotte's remains to make contact with the police so she can be returned to us and let us grieve properly."

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Charlotte Murray with her twin sister Denise

The body of 34-year-old Charlotte Murray, from Omagh, has never been found.

However, the jury unanimously found Miller, from Redford Park in Dungannon, guilty of killing her between October 31 and November 2, 2012.

It can now be revealed that months after he killed Charlotte, Miller made a heartless plea for information.

He shared a local newspaper article on social media, telling his followers: "Someone must know where she is, please help."

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Murder victim Charlotte Murray’s twin sister Denise reacts outside court yesterday

Miller, who worked as a chef at the Cohannon Inn near Dungannon, had been engaged to Charlotte and was the last person to see her alive.

Throughout the trial, he insisted that he did not kill her and did not believe she was dead.

But the jury took just three hours to reject defence claims that Charlotte was either alive or had fallen victim to another killer.

They accepted the prosecution contention Miller killed her in a murderous rage after she had sent him explicit images of herself in the arms of another man.

During the trial the prosecution claimed that, having killed her, Miller "some three weeks later or so" went on the internet looking to buy an axe, a saw and cleaning materials to dispose of her body and clear up afterwards.

The jury rejected defence claims that he had bought the items as a Christmas present for his dad.

Mobile phone and computer data during the trial showed Miller's attempts to lay a false trail that Charlotte was alive and leading a new life.

He accepted that in the early hours of the morning before Charlotte disappeared, he had been on the internet looking up sites to pawn their engagement ring, but claimed this was only after she sent him the explicit images of herself in the arms of another man.

However, the timing of the emails showed that he had been online looking at the pawn sites around 13 minutes before he was sent the images.

The prosecution claimed this was "the last straw... a last humiliation" and in his rage Miller killed Charlotte.

Last night detectives from the PSNI's Major Investigation Team appealed for information in finding Charlotte's body.

Detective Chief Inspector Eamonn Corrigan said: "I welcome today's conviction of 48-year-old John Miller for the murder of Charlotte Murray.

"However, Charlotte's family still need to have her body home so they can give her a proper burial. They haven't seen her for seven years and deserve to be allowed to say goodbye to her.

"I would appeal to anyone who knows where Charlotte's body is to come forward and give the information to police so that we can return her to her family.

"Anyone with information should contact detectives on 101 or alternatively phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Miller will return to court next month where a minimum prison term will be set.

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