Source: Google News
Jan. 10—EDITOR’S NOTE — This story contains graphic information and details from a police report that may not be appropriate for all readers.
MITCHELL — A Washington state couple facing murder charges in the death of an 8-year-old whose body they brought to Mitchell in a U-Haul was extradited Friday.
After being arrested and detained in Mitchell on Dec. 14 when authorities discovered the body of a deceased child in a U-Haul trailer that was driven by Aleksandr Kurmoyarov, 28, and his girlfriend, 33-year-old Mandie Miller — the Washington residents charged for allegedly killing the child — the Davison County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that the couple was extradited to Washington to face charges stemming from the gruesome death of their adoptive daughter, Meela Miller.
The Mitchell Police Division’s investigation into the incident began when Davison County Coroner Bart Fredericksen informed authorities that he had been contacted by individuals stating that they were traveling from Washington state to Pine Ridge with their deceased daughter.
The information from Fredericksen prompted Mitchell Police officers to search for Kurmoyarov and Miller, who they found at a residence in Mitchell. There, officers discovered a U-Haul trailer carrying a coffin containing the corpse of the couple’s adoptive daughter.
During questioning, Kurmoyarov told Mitchell authorities that the juvenile died in late October and he did not seek medical attention after the child died due to “wanting to spend more time” with her, despite being deceased. Court documents allege the couple never attempted to notify any authorities of the child’s death, which resulted in the two being charged for failure to notify law enforcement of a death of a child.
The couple had been in South Dakota for roughly four days at the time of their arrest, according to authorities.
Leading up to the death of the child, the landlord renting to the couple and their daughter notified Child Protective Services (CPS) in Spokane County, Washington, in early May that the child “hadn’t been seen since” the family moved in, according to documents released by the Spokane County Superior Court. A Washington officer deemed there were no concerns when the child was seen sleeping and breathing properly.
Months later, a victim’s advocate concerned for the child attempted to make contact with the child in October at the family’s residence, but they were allegedly chased off by Kurmoyarov who smashed the advocate’s car window.
After Mitchell authorities informed Spokane law enforcement about discovering the deceased body of the child, a Washington authority obtained a search warrant on the couple’s residence in Airway Heights where they discovered “zip ties, including cut zip ties” and an “abundant amount of various air fresheners” throughout Kurmoyarov and Miller’s home.
The doctor who performed the autopsy of the child reported there were “lesions on her right wrist and both ankles consistent with being tied up or bound with something,” along with identifying “some sort of injury to one of her tibias,” court documents say. In addition, the doctor stated the deceased 8-year-old child was “clearly malnourished” and weighed 26 pounds.
Based on the doctor’s findings during the autopsy, he stated the cause of death — barring any unexpected findings — will be homicide, according to court documents.
During the investigation following the discovery of Meela’s dead body, Kurmoyarov told authorities an autopsy would also show evidence of broken toes, which he claimed Miller would hit with a hammer when the child was acting out. He said the child would be tied up anywhere from 4 to 6 hours when Miller would discipline her, court documents say.
Detectives’ search of the residence led authorities to question a former boyfriend of Miller’s about the death of the child. Miller’s former boyfriend told authorities that Miller claimed in a phone conversation that the child died in early November after having chest pains and vomiting pink colored puke. Miller allegedly told her former boyfriend that she took her daughter to Indian Health Services only to be sent home with her child, which is when she claimed the child died.
While Miller claimed to her ex-boyfriend that she called the ambulance when Meela died in November, authorities allege there were no attempts made by Miller or Kurmoyarov to call any ambulance services or medical personnel, according to court documents.
With the couple’s extradition to Washington state, Miller and Kurmoyarov will be prosecuted in Spokane County for second-degree murder and child abuse charges.