Mica Miller’s pastor husband claims he ‘tried to raise her from the dead’ after she shot herself

Mica Miller previously accused her husband of ‘grooming’ her since she was a teen, an allegation her husband denies

Graig Graziosi
Monday 13 May 2024 21:38
South Carolina pastor John-Paul Miller tells his congregation at Solid Rock Church in Myrtle Beach that he tried to raise his deceased wife Mica Miller ‘from the dead’. Mica appears in a photo to the left of Mr Miller.
South Carolina pastor John-Paul Miller tells his congregation at Solid Rock Church in Myrtle Beach that he tried to raise his deceased wife Mica Miller ‘from the dead’. Mica appears in a photo to the left of Mr Miller. (screengrab/Solid Rock Church)

A South Carolina pastor is being accused of promoting "blasphemy" after he said he tried to raise his deceased wife from the dead.

Mica Miller, 30, was found dead in North Carolina's Lumber River State Park on April 27 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a coroner ruled. A 911 dispatcher who spoke with her on April 27 said she had been crying for several minutes before her death.

Her pastor husband, John-Paul Miller, leads the Solid Rock Church in nearby Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and addressed his wife's death during a speech on Sunday, May 5. The pastor said he had made several trips to the morgue where his wife's body was kept after she died, hoping that she would "wake up", the New York Post reports.

“Each time it still didn’t hit me, I thought she was going to wake up — I even tried to raise her from the dead one time this week,” he said during the sermon.

Mr Miller recounted an experience he had at a local mall where he saw a woman who resembled his wife, and called out to her, thinking it may have been her. It turned out the woman was one of Mica's sisters.

South Carolina pastor John-Paul Miller tells his congregation at Solid Rock Church in Myrtle Beach that he tried to raise his deceased wife Mica Miller ‘from the dead’. Mica appears in a photo to the left of Mr Miller. (screengrab/Solid Rock Church)

“I thought I raised her from the dead … I can’t wait to see her again one day,” he said, crying.

He praised his deceased wife, saying that even if he "had 10 hours, it wouldn't be enough to tell you all the great things about her."

The pastor’s message was posted online days later, where some viewers crticized the emotional display, calling it "uncomfortable to watch," "insincere" and "damage control."

Another viewer even called it a "low level of blasphemy."

The criticism may be related to requests from Mica's family to local police to further investigate her death and allegations that Mr Miller abused and groomed the woman from the time she was a teen.

Those allegations started with Mica herself.

Mica Miller, the wife of South Carolina Pastor John-Paul Miller, was found dead from an apparent self-afflicted gunshot wound on April 27, 2024 (Facebook)

She made several calls to police and made allegations against her husband. One police report includes allegations from Mica that her husband "groomed" her from the time she was a teen until their marriage in 2017. Other court filings include Mica saying she had confided in relatives and other congregants that she had been abused by her husband.

Sierra Francis, Mica's sister, said in an affidavit filed in the Horry County Probate Court that Mica had previously told her if she was ever found dead — and then described the manner in which she was eventually found dead — that her husband would be the one responsible.

“Mica stated to me on many occasions ‘if I end up with a bullet in my head, it was not by me, it was JP,’” Francis wrote to the court.

In a separate affidavit, Mica's brother, Nathaniel Francis, said that his sister found a tracking device on her car, and told him her tires had been slashed more than once in the weeks before her death.

Mr Miller's lawyer, Russel Long, has rejected all allegations that the pastor had anything to do with his wife's death or that he abused or groomed her.

“Following the untimely death of Mica Miller, unfounded rumors and false accusations began circulating on social media and in various media outlets, suggesting Pastor Miller’s involvement in her demise,” the attorney said. “This created a buzz, causing local and national media outlets to be proliferating these falsehoods, on a mammoth proportion. Our client refutes any report that suggests he ever abused his wife.”

The Independent has reached out to Mr Long for comment.

Mica Miller had made several calls to police in the years before her death (Facebook)

Mr Miller has previously said that his wife struggled with mental illness and was on and off of her medication. He also claimed she had previously been hospitalized for acting on suicidal thoughts.

Mica made a 911 call on the day she died, and told police precisely where they would find her body.

“I’m about to kill myself and I just want my family to know where to find me,” Mica told dispatchers.

The Roberson County Sheriff's Office released a statement after rumors that Mr Miller was involved in his wife's death began circulating online. The law enforcement agency said Mr Miller was not in the state on the day of his wife's death, and had been attending an athletic event in Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston and Lumber River State Park are approximately three hours apart by car.

“This incident has garnered much attention from across the Carolinas and beyond. I want to assure everyone that a very methodical investigation was conducted by our Criminal Investigations Team and Crime Scene Investigative Team,” Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said in a statement.

Video footage captured on the day of her death shows Mica entering a pawnshop and purchasing the Sig Saur 9mm handgun that killed her. Police also found a receipt for the gun and determined the "serial number on the weapon matched the gun box that was found" in her car, Fox News reports.

Surveillance footage obtained by the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department shows Mica Miller purchasing a handgun from a pawnshop on 27 April, the day she died (Robeson County Sheriff’s Office)

Wilkins continued in his statement and said that "rumours and conspiracy theories were spreading quickly, and assumptions were being made" about Mr Miller's involvement in Mica's death.

"However, in the end, we must make decisions based on the facts, and evidence that has been gathered," he said. "While I know it’s not what many people wanted to hear, the evidence is quite clear and compelling, and we are as saddened as anyone that this occurred.”

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 988. This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in