Alleged captor eludes police for days

BEDFORD – An East Freedom man who allegedly held a woman at gunpoint for hours Friday eluded a police perimeter and remained at large for three days before turning himself in late Monday, state police said.

Police said they first sought Ronald Miller, 49, of 2720 Everett Road after receiving a call Friday evening from Miller’s estranged wife, who claimed he’d held her hostage for hours in her Imler home. The woman had escaped and called from a neighbor’s house, police said in an affidavit.

She had arrived from work about 3:30 p.m. to find Miller waiting in her house with a shotgun, police said.

“Miller closed the door behind her and told her that she wasn’t going anywhere,” Trooper Garry Ford wrote in the affidavit.

Miller allegedly told the woman that he would spend the weekend with her before forcing her to watch his suicide. During her five hours allegedly in captivity, Miller head-butted the woman, slapped her and said he would shoot off her limbs if anyone arrived to help her, police said.

When the woman heard a neighbor’s voice outside, she ran for help and called the police, who formed a perimeter around her home. Troopers summoned a Special Emergency Response Team, a heavily armed assault unit similar to a SWAT team, and attempted repeatedly to contact Miller on a loudspeaker.

They received no answer.

After a “lengthy standoff” that lasted nearly 12 hours, police assaulted the house but couldn’t find Miller, Ford said Tuesday.

“It’s possible [he left beforehand]. We’re not sure how he got out – whether he got out as we were setting up our perimeter,” Ford said.

Police issued releases seeking information on Miller’s whereabouts, but it wasn’t until Monday evening that he turned himself in at the Bedford state police station, Ford said. Miller refused to make a statement once he was in custody, Ford said.

Miller was arraigned Monday evening on charges including burglary, false imprisonment and criminal trespassing. He remains in Bedford County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for July 31.