Washington couple charged in child’s death extradited from SD

The doctor who performed the autopsy of the child reported there were “lesions on her right wrist and both ankles consistent with being tied up or bound with something," according to court documents.

Aleksandr Kurmoyarov, 28, and Mandie Miller, 33, both of Airway Heights, Wash., were being held in the Davison County Jail for a criminal charge in South Dakota as well as on detainer for a Washington state police department as they're investigated for murder and child abuse.
Mugshots courtesy of the Davison County Jail

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story contains graphic information and details from a police report that may not be appropriate for all readers.

MITCHELL — A Washington state couple accused of driving an 8-year-old’s body to South Dakota was sent back on Friday, Jan. 6.

Aleksandr Kurmoyarov, 28, and his girlfriend, Mandie Miller, 33, were extradited to Washington to face murder charges stemming from the death of their adoptive daughter, Meela Miller, the Davison County Sheriff’s Office said last week.

The pair were arrested and detained in Mitchell on Dec. 14 when authorities discovered the body of the deceased child in a U-Haul trailer they were driving.

The Mitchell Police Division’s investigation into the incident began when Davison County Coroner Bart Fredericksen informed authorities that he had been contacted by individuals stating that they were traveling from Washington state to Pine Ridge with their deceased daughter.


The information from Fredericksen prompted Mitchell police to search for Kurmoyarov and Miller, whom they found at a residence in Mitchell. There, officers discovered a U-Haul trailer carrying a coffin containing the corpse of the couple’s adoptive daughter.

During questioning, Kurmoyarov told Mitchell authorities that the juvenile died in late October and that he did not seek medical attention after the child died due to “wanting to spend more time” with her.

According to court documents, the couple never attempted to notify any authorities of the child’s death. They were charged with failure to notify law enforcement of a death of a child.

Welfare checks, police search

In the months before the death of the child, several attempts were made to check on her welfare.

According to court documents, the couple’s landlord notified Child Protective Services in Spokane County, Washington, in early May that the child “hadn’t been seen since” the family moved into the residence.

During a welfare check, a Washington officer deemed there were no concerns when the child was seen sleeping and breathing properly.

In October, a victim’s advocate concerned for the child attempted to make contact with her at the family’s residence. According to court documents, the advocate was chased off by Kurmoyarov, who smashed the advocate’s car window.

After Mitchell authorities informed Spokane law enforcement about the discovery of the child’s deceased body, a Washington authority obtained a search warrant on the couple’s residence in Airway Heights, where they discovered “zip ties, including cut zip ties” and an “abundant amount of various air fresheners” throughout the home.


The doctor who performed the autopsy on the child reported there were “lesions on her right wrist and both ankles consistent with being tied up or bound with something,” along with identifying “some sort of injury to one of her tibias,” court documents say. In addition, the doctor stated the 8-year-old child was “clearly malnourished” and weighed 26 pounds.

Based on his findings during the autopsy, the doctor said the cause of death — barring any unexpected findings — will be homicide, court documents said.

During the investigation following the discovery of Meela’s body, Kurmoyarov told authorities an autopsy would also show evidence of broken toes, which he claimed Miller would hit with a hammer when the child was acting out. He said the child would be tied up from 4 to 6 hours when Miller would discipline her, court documents say.

Detectives’ search of the residence led authorities to question a former boyfriend of Miller’s.

He told authorities that Miller claimed in a phone conversation that the child died in early November after having chest pains and vomiting pink-colored vomit. According to court documents, Miller told her former boyfriend that she took her daughter to Indian Health Services only to be sent home with the child, which is when Miller claimed the child died.

While Miller reportedly told her ex-boyfriend that she called an ambulance when Meela died in November, authorities allege there were no attempts made by Miller or Kurmoyarov to call any ambulance services or medical personnel.

With the couple’s extradition from South Dakota to Washington state, Miller and Kurmoyarov will be prosecuted in Spokane County for second-degree murder and child abuse charges.

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