A Pennsylvania teenager accused of fatally stabbing her disabled older sister had previously said she was having “suicidal and homicidal thoughts,” authorities have revealed in court records.
Claire Elaina Miller, 14, has been charged with homicide after hysterically calling authorities on Monday night to admit she stabbed her sister, 19-year-old Helen Miller, while her parents were asleep, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office. The elder Miller, who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair, died from a stab wound to her neck.
Shortly after Miller was arrested at home in Manheim Township, a small community about 75 miles west of Philadelphia, a witness called to say they had been talking to Miller on the phone. The document, filed to support a search warrant and obtained by several local news outlets, does not say when Miller was speaking to the unnamed witness but said she spoke of homicidal and suicidal thoughts.
While little is known about Miller, a ninth-grader who attended a local private school, it appears she had a significant TikTok following before Monday’s grisly crime. Under the name “spiritsandsuchconsulting,” Miller posted over a dozen videos of her lip-syncing and admiring various anime characters for her 21.9K fans. In one Jan. 13 video, Helen is seen in her wheelchair next to their father.
Miller’s account was removed on Thursday afternoon. TikTok closed Miller's account on Thursday for violating their community guidelines, particularly the policy against “enabling violence on or off TikTok. "We do not allow individuals or organizations on our platform who promote or are engaged in violence,” a source with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, the Manheim Township Police Department arrived at the home just after 1 a.m. to find Miller standing in front of the house close to “what appeared to be blood on the snow near the driveway” after she allegedly attempted “to wash her hands in the snow.”
“I stabbed my sister,” Miller, who had blood on her pants, repeatedly told police when they arrived at the house before directing them to her older sister’s bedroom.
Police say that in the bedroom, Helen was found with a “pillow with blood stains” over her face. One of the officers removed the pillow and found a knife in Helen’s neck. “Helen was lying on her back with her hands up near her head,” the affidavit states.
Police say they heard from the witness at 1:42 a.m. about the phone conversation with Miller.
While prosecutors and police have not offered any details about a motive, a search warrant for Miller's house provides clues into the ongoing investigation. The warrant states that authorities took a slew of items from the house, including knives, a stuffed rabbit toy, nine kitchen knives, and a whiteboard that listed the 14-year-old’s chores.
Police also collected the clothes Miller was wearing at the time of the murder—a blue t-shirt with a cat face and gray, black, and white checkered pajama pants. DNA swabs were also collected all around Helen’s room.
According to PennLive, officers wrote in an application for the search warrant that they would be looking for Miller’s cell phone to potentially answer questions about what led to the murder—but no phone was listed as among the items seized by police.
The coroner’s office on Wednesday released an autopsy report confirming Helen Miller, who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair, died at 4:13 a.m. from multiple stab wounds. The cause of death was homicide, the report concluded. Police say the girls’ parents were asleep during the incident.
Since Miller is being charged as an adult, she was denied bail during a Monday arraignment and is being held at Lancaster County Prison. Miller's attorney, Robert Beyers, did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Lancaster Country Day School officials confirmed to The Daily Beast that Miller was a ninth-grade student at the school of about 550 students. “As a school community, we were shocked and saddened by the events that unfolded on Monday. We are focused on caring for our students and faculty as we begin to process this tragedy,” Head of School Steve Lisk said.
A spokesperson for the Manheim Township School District confirmed that Helen Miller received educational services from a school within the district.