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Kokomo man killed, grandson charged with murder

KOKOMO (WISH) — A 24-year-old Kokomo man is charged with murder after police say he brutally killed his own grandfather.

Kokomo police were called to a home on North Apperson Way early Monday morning. That’s where they found 67-year-old John Miller with head trauma and severe cuts. Miller was taken to the hospital and died the next day.

Now his grandson, Zachary Miller is charged with his death. Police say Miller used a frying pan to hit his grandfather in the head and a steak knife to cut his wrists.

“He was a great guy, he loved his grandkids. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for anybody. He was a Vietnam veteran,” said Betty Miller, the victim’s wife.

On Wednesday family members told 24-Hour News 8 they believe this all could have been prevented.

They said Miller has a history of mental illness, and family had trouble getting him the help he needed. They said he was becoming increasingly violent.

“We were scared of him. He would change on us. One minute he would be ok, the next minute…,” said Betty Miller, the victim’s wife.

“He killed my mom’s dog a couple weeks ago and we have had him out to Howard Community Hospital multiple times,” said Melissa Rhoades, the daughter of John Miller and aunt of Zachary Miller.

“We knew that something was going to happen. It was brewing, but I mean we were doing what we can. I mean he needed help and nobody would help him. The system failed,” said Rhoades.

According to court documents, Miller’s mother had just taken him to the hospital the night before the attack. She said he was not admitted.

Zachary Miller is being held in the Howard County Jail.

Initial charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery have been upgraded to murder.

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