LIMA — A photo taken by The Lima News that ran in Florida media reports led to the identity of a woman Allen County Sheriff detectives had spent hundreds of hours tracking, Sheriff Sam Crish said Thursday.
The mystery woman was identified Thursday evening as Ann Marie Miller, a 40-year-old disbarred attorney from Virginia who is has felony charges pending in that state and Colorado, Crish said.
The woman has not confirmed she is Miller, but Crish said detectives are nearly 100 percent sure of the matter. They pulled pictures and other records on Miller, and those pictures seem to match.
Detectives were investigating her for the past month after she presented false information to obtain a state identification card here. Detectives arrested her. She is charged with tampering with records, a third-degree felony in Allen County.
She has been living in Lima since earlier this year. She refused to give her real name and claimed she had never held a job or ever attended school. She also gave detectives numerous pieces of false information, sending them on wild chases.
It wasn’t until detectives traced her to Florida that they caught a break. Earlier this week, detectives contacted The Lima News for help, explaining the Florida connection. Miller served as a caregiver for an elderly man before moving to Ohio to serve as a caregiver for a 95-year-old woman.
The Lima News ran the story and several photographs of Miller from her court appearance Wednesday that were picked up by Florida media outlets.
Late Thursday afternoon, a viewer in Florida recognized a photograph and contacted Det. Mark Baker with Miller’s name. Detectives ran a criminal background check to determine the mystery woman was in all likelihood Miller.
Sheriff Sam Crish praised his detectives for all their hard work but he said additional work remains. They must contact agencies across the country to determine if she is wanted anywhere else. Then they will complete the Ohio case which could send Miller to prison for three years.
After that, Colorado officials want her for prosecution. A background check by the sheriff’s office listed her charged with burglary, two counts of possession of burglary tools, trespassing, criminal mischief and a felony marijuana cultivation charge, Crish said.
In Virginia, she is charged with a tampering with a vehicle identification number, a felony; burglary and assault, disorderly conduct, threatening language over a public airway, and stalking, Crish said.
Some of the Virginia charges are connected to a love triangle. A male attorney she was involved with left her for a paralegal in their office, which set Miller off, Crish said.
Investigators also must search to determine if there’s any other crimes she’s connected to, given her behavior, Crish said.
“It was pretty bizarre, her behavior, not wanting to cooperate to tell us who she is. Personally, I thought we would find more serious crimes committed because of the steps she went through to hide her identity,” Crish said.
One of those steps included burning her fingertips to prevent investigators from taking prints to try to establish her identity. She also ran numerous searches on her personal computer about police interrogation techniques and how to conceal her identity.
“This is going to be a case we have to get out to a lot of different agencies to make sure nobody is looking for her. There’s a good possibility she may be involved in some other crimes,” Crish said.