Family reports loved one with autism missing, finds him dead

Posted at 5:55 PM, Nov 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-26 21:56:06-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – After family members reported Kurt Miller, 32, missing last week, they found him dead outside on Sunday.  Now they ask why they felt alone during the days they searched for Miller.

Kurt's father, Lee Miller, and younger sister, Kellie Molinet, said it was unlike him to not get in touch last Wednesday. When his phone continued to go to voicemail they reported him missing with Grand Rapids Police, but said they felt like they got little help.

"We called right away and they just said you have to wait 24-hours before you put a missing person in, but couldn't they have gone out there and looked or something?” questioned Lee Miller.

Family members told FOX 17 that Kurt was in the process of moving in with a good friend at Birchgrove Apartments. When that friend told the family that Kurt’s wallet was still in his apartment, that’s when Molinet said she had a bad feeling.

Molinet and her mother went looking for Kurt themselves at the complex this Sunday.

"First I'd seen his vest, it was against a fence, and my mom she just did started hyperventilating, and started saying, ‘that's his coat, I just bought him that,’” said Molinet. “I picked it up and then I looked over and I could see his feet, I could see his body, and I just said, 'oh my God, he's here.'"

Now family are wondering how Kurt passed, and why it felt like police were not more proactive.

Grand Rapids Police Captain Eric Payne could not comment on Miller’s open case, but said GRPD files missing persons’ reports immediately, and follows up on every tip.

“Whenever there’s a tip we will follow up on it, whether it’s a uniform officer or the detective,” said Captain Payne. “Our goal is to locate the person and let the person making the report know that they’re okay.”

But Kurt’s family is looking for answers. They said they are frustrated by the fact that they called homeless shelters, hospitals, and even jails while Kurt was missing until they found his body themselves.

"We don't want this happening to anybody else,” said Lee Miller. "And what really bothers me is Kellie's done all of this phone calling, all this communication, and that detective has still not called up here about anything. I mean she solved the case for them, she found his body, and this detective hasn't called up; why is that?"

Captain Payne told FOX 17 that the detective will be in contact with Kurt’s family soon, and said they are waiting for autopsy results.

Kurt's family members have made funeral plans for this Saturday, and are raising money for his burial expenses on their GoFundMe page.