DA: ‘No final conclusions have been reached’ in death of Hopkinton 16-year-old

HOPKINTON, Mass. — On Tuesday afternoon, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan provided an update on the county’s investigation into the death of a 16-year-old from Hopkinton. Mikayla Miller was found dead last month and concern is growing over what happened to her.

“The most important takeaway from today is that no final conclusions have been reached,” DA Ryan said, adding that there was no truth to the allegation that they had concluded their investigation.

“We have to get to the answers […] in due speed but in a way that does not compromise the investigation.”

DA Ryan also pushed back against allegations that the investigation into Miller’s death was not a priority for the county or was covered up because Miller was both Black and a member of the LGBTQIA community, calling them “patently false.”

Ryan on Tuesday provided the media the fullest picture yet of what investigators say happened to 16-year-old Miller in the hours before her body was found in woods near her Hopkinton home on April 18.

While the DA was not able to report a cause or manner of death in the Miller case -- saying that the medical examiner will make that determination -- DA Ryan did lay out a timeline for what they have learned preliminarily about the night of her death. That timeline began on the evening of Saturday, April 17, 2021:

  • Miller was had been with two friends in the common area of her apartment complex on West Main Street before her friends left.
  • Four other teens later joined Miller in the common area, where a physical altercation broke out between a male teen, a female teen and Miller between 5:17 p.m. and 6:41 p.m. Another female teen remained outside during that time.
  • Police responded to the apartment complex at 7:20 p.m., where they observed Miller had blood on her lip. Miller told police she was pushed and punched in the face during the altercation.
  • At 7:43 p.m., Hopkinton Police traveled to the home of one of the girls involved in the altercation, where they gathered a statement before returning to the apartment complex to observe the scene.
  • Miller’s mother went to bed between 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. believing Miller was still in the apartment.
  • Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., a health app in Miller’s cell phone shows that she traveled 1,316 steps.
  • At 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 28, Miller’s body is located by a jogger near a walking path in the woods with her belongings close by.

According to DA Ryan, the distance between where Miller’s body was found and her apartment is approximately the same distance as the number of steps recorded in her phone’s health app.

According to preliminary investigation, two of the females involved in the physical altercation on Saturday evening were elsewhere between 8:43 p.m. Saturday and 5:48 a.m. Sunday. Two of the males involved left Hopkinton with a family member following the altercation and were observed entering and exiting the Mass. Pike before 9 p.m. They were then seen at a Sturbridge Wendy’s at 9:06 p.m.

The third female who stood outside went home following the altercation, preliminary investigation shows.

DA Ryan added, so far, there is no evidence suggesting anyone else was with Mikayla either.

DA Ryan called Miller’s death, “an unspeakable tragedy for her loved ones and for the entire community of Hopkinton.” She also pledged to release every shred of information she legally was allowed to following the investigation, with permission from the family.

When asked if there was any evidence if Miller’s death was the result of a hate crime, DA Ryan said that there was no evidence either way, though she emphasized that their findings are just preliminary.

The district attorney’s comments come as the group, Violence In Boston, is planning a vigil/rally at the Boston Marathon Starting Line Thursday. Group founder Monica Cannon Grant posted an image suggesting that Miller could have been murdered and may have been a victim of racial hate.

There is concern in Hopkinton over the possibility of violence. The Hopkinton Board of Selectmen is holding an Emergency Meeting about security concerns.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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