Home » History, Mystery & Crime » Betty Lou Japel and Kenneth Miller Mystery Case

Betty Lou Japel and Kenneth Miller Mystery Case

Betty Lou Japel and Kenneth Miller

Unsolved Miseries

Betty Lou Japel

Betty Lou Japel and Kenneth Miller Mystery Case

User Rating: 2.89 ( 1 votes)

Sixty-nine year old Betty Lou Japel and her husband, Kenneth Miller lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle in the early 2000s. They crisscrossing the United States in their 1970s RV, so they were both in sporadic touch with their loved ones. Hence, it took several months for reporting the couple as missing. It’s unclear what date they were last alive. A bank accounts indicated an unspecified point in June of 2006. Although all traces of their disappearance after that point were missing.


Their RV discovered in the meantime as well Bureau Of Land Management employees found it on government land near Redmond, Oregon. Unable to reunite the vehicle with its owners, because nobody knows about their whereabouts. Local officials stashed the RV on a nearby military training facility until the couple could claim it. As authorities dug further, they discovered that Ken and Betty Lou were with a longtime friend, Gregory Cole. They found photos of the two posing with him inside the RV. Gregory Cole was a self-described survivalist and anti-government Arizona resident. He befriended the couple over a decade. Despite the traces of his presence at the scene, ‘Groundhog’ was not found.

After laying low for several months, Cole, who had multiple federal warrants out for his arrest and a storied history of federal weapons charges, resurfaced in Arizona near the Mexican border when a local police officer pulled him over for a traffic stop. Likely fearing an arrest, he shot the officer several times and sped away.


Cole left the crime scene in a different RV. The licence plate was stolen from the couple’s truck. It found independently in Montana. Gregory Cole’s remains were found off a highway near Quartzite, Arizona, six days after shooting an officer. He took his own life. Law officials doubted he stole and possess the plates. Suspecting foul play, Arizona’s Department of Public Safety released a bulletin declaring Kenneth Miller and Betty Lou Japel missing. They showed a specific concern for their well-being.

Though they were unable to conclusively tie Gregory Cole to the murder(s), it was law enforcement’s official belief that he was responsible. A year after Cole’s suicide, officers decided to return to the RV’s discovery scene in Oregon. They found Kenneth’s remains there. Someone buried him in a shallow grave in the nearby desert. However, there was no sign of another body. Oregon State Police noted that they had no intentions of searching the area more aggressively. The cite was ‘impossibly large’ Oregon desert. They’d be combing through in hopes of finding Betty Lou. No further traces of her found in the area. She remained officially missing.


The rural Nevada is 475 miles (765 km) southeast of Redmond, Oregon. An individual travelled through sparsely-populated Churchill County in March 2008. He came across a shallow grave into the gravel off Highway 95. Upon further inspection, the person realised that the grave contained skeletal remains. He called the Sheriff’s Office, who excavated the area. Churchill County took the skeletal remains on to Washoe County’s medical examiner. They determined that the remains belonged to an adult woman over twenty-five. There were several gunshot wounds on her body. However, with so little information, they were unable to make progress to identify her until 2023. They requested the help of DNA profiling company Othram. They were able to sequence a profile cohesive enough to perform genealogy.

The genealogists quickly examined a potential identity of Betty Lou Japel. It fits Jane Doe’s description. A DNA sample from her relative confirmed their findings. The loved ones of Betty Lou were finally able to lay her to rest. Officials handed over her remains to them after conclusive identification.


The officer, (shot by Cole) survived and discharged from the hospital. When Cole opened fire on him, he took cover behind his vehicle. A resident of the nearby building called 911. He gave him emergency aid until a helicopter arrived. He appears to still be alive and well.

A unsolved mystery of Betty Lou Japel and Kenneth Miller by Fehmeeda Farid Khan

Previous read Thomas Vandiver, Beatrice and Wanda – Unsolved Case

About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *