Student’s Death Shakes Community

Senior+Alexiana+Bernard+%28left%29+and+junior+Jazmine+Williams+embrace+during+Michelle+Miller%27s+memorial+as+do+senior+Dominic+Cicatelli+%28right%29+and+junior+Hayley+Egart.+Hundreds+of+community+members+attended+the+memorial+to+share+their+condolences+and+express+support+for+the+Miller+family.+--Sarah+Huang%2C+courtesy+of+the+Yearbook

Senior Alexiana Bernard (left) and junior Jazmine Williams embrace during Michelle Miller's memorial as do senior Dominic Cicatelli (right) and junior Hayley Egart. Hundreds of community members attended the memorial to share their condolences and express support for the Miller family. --Sarah Huang, courtesy of the Yearbook

Senior Alexiana Bernard (left) and junior Jazmine Williams embrace during Michelle Miller's memorial as do senior Dominic Cicatelli (right) and junior Hayley Egart. Hundreds of community members attended the memorial to share their condolences and express support for the Miller family. --Sarah Huang, courtesy of the Yearbook
Senior Alexiana Bernard (left) and junior Jazmine Williams embrace during Michelle Miller’s memorial as do senior Dominic Cicatelli (right) and junior Hayley Egart. Hundreds of community members attended the memorial to share their condolences and express support for the Miller family. –Sarah Huang, courtesy of the Yearbook

On the morning of April 8, senior Michelle Miller and Army Sergeant Adam Anthony Arndt were found deceased in Arndt’s Germantown home after an apparent murder-suicide.

Montgomery County police responded to a 911 call made by Michelle’s father, Kevin Miller, at about 8:49 a.m. outside Arndt’s townhouse. Officers were unable to make contact with anyone inside and had to force entry. Officers found Arndt and Michelle in a bathroom. A handgun was also found inside the house.

Michelle hurriedly left her home around 9:15 p.m. the previous night after receiving a text from a suicidal member of her platoon. Her parents initially refused to allow their daughter out, but in her eagerness to help, Michelle convinced them that she would be safe, and agreed to text her father the address.

After one message from Michelle at about 10:07 p.m., which referred to the house as being off a particular street, Miller lost contact with his daughter and could not get a response to his calls or messages. At midnight, Miller contacted police. “At about midnight, we were just hysterical,” said Miller. “The police were here for quite some time, following different leads, and they left at about three in the morning.”

Later that morning, Miller woke up early and called a friend of Michelle’s in search of information regarding her whereabouts. Michelle’s friend did not know the address but provided enough information to lead Miller to Arndt’s home, where he called police. Miller spoke to some neighbors, but none asserted that they had seen or heard anything suspicious.

Michelle had met Arndt due to her plan to enlist in the Army Reserves after graduation. Arndt was not Michelle’s recruiter; however, he was the Human Resources Specialist at a Maryland recruiting office. Michelle had been determined to join the Army, telling her parents that if they did not give her their blessing to join, she would enlist once she turned 18.

Michelle researched the Army online, went into training and got her military ID. “As a little girl, she just liked the Army a�� but as she got older, she just said she wanted to serve her country,” said Miller, who also addressed Michelle’s interest in psychotherapy. “She really liked the idea of being able to help people work through problems and that’s basically what she died trying to do.”

Letters about Michelle’s death were given out April 8 during eighth period; based on her own experiences hearing about tragedy during school, RHS Principal Dr. Debra Munk decided that delivering the news in a classroom setting was best. “Even though it was horrible news, it was better to hear it from our teacher,” said Dr. Munk.

A vigil was held April 9 to honor Michelle. Hundreds of students came to the event, for which Dr. Munk opened the stadium. “It was really touching to see the way that she was honored, that people respected her,” said Miller. Hundreds attended Michelle’s funeral at St. Mary’s Church April 16, in remembrance of their classmate.