ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two months ago Clifford Miller left Oklahoma, and his two children and an ex-wife, to pursue a job offer in New Mexico.
But shortly after midnight Saturday, a security guard found the 42-year-old man’s mutilated and decapitated naked body behind a Northeast Albuquerque Wal-Mart, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department announced in a Monday afternoon news conference. His genitals had been cut off.
By Tuesday, Miller’s extended family had heard the news and were struggling to process it.
Chandel Fults, the sister of Miller’s ex-wife,said Miller’s 11-year-old son died in a car crash almost four years ago. She said he had two daughters and was trying to reconnect with the oldest one.
“(Miller’s ex-wife) was crying when I talked to her,” Fults said. “I had to tell her oldest daughter myself. How would you take it if you had to be told your dad died?”
Fults said she wasn’t sure what job Miller had traveled to Albuquerque for, but said he had been a long-time employee at a roofing company in his hometown of McAlester, Okla.
APD spokesman Fred Duran said homicide detectives don’t think Miller was killed at the Wal-Mart, on Wyoming near Menaul NE, but they would not say where they think he was killed. There is no suspect information, he said.
Duran said the Office of the Medical Investigator will determine how he died and whether he was decapitated after his death.
A spokesman for the FBI said the agency is not involved in the investigation.
Although Duran said Monday that detectives were still trying to identify the body and find next of kin, Jeff Daniels, the communications officer with the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office, said his deputies contacted Miller’s father late Sunday.
Miller had been charged with multiple misdemeanors and was charged with felony possession of marijuana and cultivating marijuana in the 1990s, but Fults said she didn’t know of anything that could have hinted he’d meet his end in such a brutal fashion.
“I don’t see him as a person that this could actually happen to,” Fults said. “He was goofy, he wasn’t into drugs or anything. He was a good guy.”
Journal staff writers Robert Browman and Nicole Perez contributed to this report.
– Read more from the Tulsa World: Albuquerque police identify victim in gruesome death as McAlester man