Mother and boyfriend abused 8-year-old daughter to death, drove halfway across the country with her corpse in trailer to ‘spend more time with her,’ police say

News & Politics

Various law enforcement bodies across the country are coordinating with one another after a couple was arrested in South Dakota for allegedly driving around with the corpse of the woman’s daughter in tow and never reporting the girl’s death to police.

On December 14, police in Mitchell, South Dakota, apprehended Mandie Miller, 33, and her boyfriend, Aleksander Kurmoyarov, 28, after a local medical examiner called police to make a disturbing report. Someone had called the office of the Davison County Coroner claiming to have driven into the area from Airway Heights, Washington, with “their deceased daughter.” Police then located Mitchell and Kurmoyarov in Mitchell and reportedly discovered the remains of Miller’s 8-year-old adopted daughter in a coffin in the back of a “U-Haul tow-behind trailer.” The couple had been in the state for four days when they were arrested.

When questioned, Miller and Kurmoyarov gave conflicting reports regarding the circumstances of the girl’s death, police said. Kurmoyarov allegedly told them that the girl had died “a little before Halloween 2022,” while Miller claimed she had died on September 10. Kurmoyarov also allegedly added that the couple had never reported the girl’s death to the authorities because they “wanted to spend more time with her” and feared that they might “get in trouble.” The two never sought medical attention for the girl, the Mitchell police report stated.

Mitchell police arrested the couple and charged them each with one count of failure to notify law enforcement of a child’s death. Mitchell PD also contacted police in Airway Heights and Spokane, which had issued a no-bond warrant for the couple for homicide by abuse. The couple remain detained in South Dakota on charges from both states. Whether federal authorities have intervened in this case remains unknown.

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At this point, it is unclear whether Miller or Kurmoyarov will face extradition to Washington. Failure to report a child’s death in South Dakota is a Class 5 felony, which carries a sentence of up to five years and $10,000. Homicide by abuse in Washington is a Class A felony, which carries a maximum sentence of at least 20 years and $50,000.

Police in Washington say they have also coordinated with the Spokane Tribal Police Department, and the couple claimed that their ultimate destination was the Pine Ridge Native American reservation in South Dakota. Whether Miller and/or Kurmoyarov claim membership in a federally recognized indigenous tribe remains unclear. It is also possible that the deceased girl could have had a tribal affiliation.

It is also strange that the couple said they planned to drive to the reservation since the reservation is located in the southwestern corner of South Dakota, while Mitchell is located approximately 270 miles east. In other words, if the couple had intended to drive to the reservation, then they drove four and a half or five hours out of their way. Kurmoyarov also appears to be wearing a wedding ring in the booking photo, but police reports indicate that he and Miller are not married.

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