lacy miller

Timeline of the Lacy Miller Case

Sunday, January 5, 2003
Jason Clausen, 22, first came to the attention of authorities when confronted by Larimer County Sheriff's deputies near the Mulberry Inn, 4333 E. Mulberry St at about 2 AM. Patrols were stepped up after the hotel was robbed Jan. 2. Clausen did not match the description of the robbery suspect but raised deputies' suspicions. Deputies found Clausen wearing a ski mask, carrying a bail bondsman badge and in possession of a vehicle equipped with red and blue emergency lights and containing a cache of guns.

At about 3;15 AM (one hour later) A Fort Collins police dispatcher told officers that she was stopped by a suspicious man who was driving a sport utility vehicle with red and blue strobe lights on the dashboard. This incident happened a little more than a mile from the home of 20-year-old Lacy Miller.

According to an incident report, the dispatcher told officers that she was driving home at 3:15 a.m. She was heading south on Overland Trail when she saw a black or dark-colored SUV, possibly a GMC Yukon, at West Mulberry Street. The SUV turned around and started following her car, the report said. Red and blue strobe lights started flashing on the dashboard of the SUV.

After the dispatcher stopped, the driver walked up to her window and asked whether she knew she was speeding. She told him she was driving 40 mph, but he told her she was driving 55 mph, the report said. He told her to slow down and walked back to his vehicle. The dispatcher shouted at him and asked for his name and agency. The man did not acknowledge and drove off, according to the report.

The dispatcher wasn't able to get the license plate number on the SUV. She reported that the driver wore dark, uniform-type pants and a dark sweatshirt. She told police that the man was wearing a badge on a chain around his neck.

Monday, Januray 13th 2003
Clausen was arrested on allegations of stealing clothes and a car battery from his former roommate.

Saturday, January 18th, 2003
Lacy Miller disappeared after a night out with friends. She last was seen around 1:30a.m. at the Rams Village apartment complex. Her car, a black Mitsubishi Mirage, was discovered at 6:30 a.m. two doors from her mother and stepfather's home in southwest Fort Collins on Brumbaugh Drive in the Quail Hollow subdivision The doors were locked, and there were no signs of foul play,

Tuesday, January 21 2003
Police receive a tip relating to the Miller case led them to Jason Claussen. He was detained on a downtown street after police found Miller's personal identification and other belongings in his possession. 22 year old Jason Peder Clausen is arrested later that evening, but police did not announce the arrest publicly until Wednesday

Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Clausen was advised of the first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping
charges against him Wednesday afternoon at the Larimer County Justice Center. Though details remain sketchy of any ties between Lacy Miller and the man held in connection with her slaying, a picture of suspect Jason Clausen is emerging.

The 22-year-old Fort Collins man had once been on the honor roll at the former Choice City Christian School, served years ago as a youth volunteer for the Fort Collins Police Explorer Scout program and had avoided legal problems until a pair of bizarre scrapes 2½ weeks ago. Clausen was to ship out today to join the military.

Sunday, January 26th , 2003
Lacy Miller's body is found in Poudre Canyon, near the intersection of Colorado Highway 14 and Stove Prairie.

Police have released few details about the investigation because of court imposed gag order. They have not said why they believe Clausen was connected to Miller's murder, but they have said they believe she might have been lured from her car Jan. 18 by a police impersonator. Police later said a man fitting Clausen's description might have stopped or attempted to stop other women.

Monday, January 27th, 2003
Clausen was charged Jan. 27 with the first-degree murder and second-degree
kidnapping of Miller. He remains without bond at the Larimer County Detention Center. He is scheduled to appear in Larimer County District Court for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. March 26.

Thursday, January 30th 2003
Lacy Miller's family crafted this obituary, which is presented as a letter from her, which appeared in the local Fort Collins Newspaper:

To those of you who know me and those of you who have only gotten to know me recently, I'd like to tell you a little about myself. I hope you will focus more on who I was in life, not how my life ended.

My name is Lacy Jo Miller. I was born in Billings, Mont., on Aug. 10, 1982. I
came to Fort Collins when I was 6 years old. I was a Brownie. I loved school,
playing Barbies, tea parties, coloring, dress-up, my best friend Katy, horses,
sleepovers, art class and singing.

When I was in junior high school I ran track, played softball and learned to play the piano and the flute. I loved watching my little brother Kenyan and making things for him. I was quiet and shy for the most part, but once you got to know me, I was funny and would say what was on my mind.

In high school, I was in student council and on the yearbook committee. I loved my friends, hanging out during lunch, doing things I thought my mom didn't know about, driving my car, listening to Dave Matthews Band, dancing, dreaming about being a designer or teacher, talking on the phone, instant messaging my friends, watching "Friends," being a couch potato, sleeping, going to movies, Thanksgivings with my Aunt Stacy and lots more. I loved seeing my Dad and brother Jesse and every year spending time with my grandparents in Texas. I loved my family, I loved Jesus, and I loved life.

lacy miller

I was tragically taken from this planet in January 2003. Regretfully, I leave behind my mother, Wendy (Patterson) Cohen; my father, David Miller; two little brothers, stepparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and many, many friends.

Thank you for loving me, laughing with me, teaching me what I needed to know and for looking and praying so hard to find me so my parents wouldn't have to worry any more.

You're welcome to come to my funeral and join my family in celebrating my life. It's going to be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Resurrection Fellowship, 6502 E.
Crossroads Blvd., Exit No. 259 of Interstate 25.

Originally published Jan. 30, 2003, The Coloradoan, FortColorado,CO

Saturday February 1st, 2003
Lacy Miller's memorial service was attended by more than 1,000 mourners at Resurrection Fellowship in Loveland, Colorado. They remembered a young woman who grew up in Fort Collins and was studying to be an elementary school teacher at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Wednesday April 30th, 2003
Gov. Bill Owens signs House Bill 1304. The bill will take immediate effect in Colorado of the hard work and dedication of local lawmakers and one mother. Under the bill, police impersonation will be a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Posing as a law-enforcement officer was previously a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Fourteen people in the past three years have been convicted of impersonating a peace officer in Colorado..

Wendy Cohen pledged to continue working with Colorado state law-makers in next year's session to raise police impersonation to felony status.She still needs your support.

Sunday January 18, 2004
"Mother works to give meaning to child's death"

Wendy Cohen is hoping to win the lottery so she can turn her winnings over to the state.

Cohen, the mother of slain college student Lacy Miller, knows money might be the only obstacle standing in the way of stiffer penalties for police impersonators.