LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (TCD) -- A teen’s parents appeared in court this week on behalf of their daughter who is accused of killing her older sister as part of a hearing to determine if she will be charged as an adult.
On Feb. 21, 2021, at 1 a.m., the Manheim Township Police Department responded to a home on the 1500 block of Clayton Road after receiving a call from a girl who said she killed her sister, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s statement cited by WGAL-TV. Officers reportedly located 14-year-old Claire Miller, who led police to her sister Helen’s bedroom, where she was found with a stab wound on her neck.
The District Attorney’s Office says investigators believed the stabbing occurred while Claire and Helen’s parents were asleep. Claire was taken into custody at the scene and booked on a charge of criminal homicide.
WGAL reports Helen had a large knife in her neck, and Claire allegedly told police, "I stabbed my sister."
According to WGAL, a hearing began this week to decide on Claire’s trial. On Tuesday, June 28, Manheim Township Police Detective Jonathan Martin said Claire was standing outside in the snow covered in blood when they showed up. While at the police station, she allegedly heard a "Halloween" ringtone and said, "I Michael Myers’ed my sister."
Helen was reportedly stabbed two times in the chest and jaw, and three times in the neck.
According to Lancaster Online, Miller’s parents told a Lancaster County judge their daughter suffered from mental illness, bullying, gender dysphoria, and more. Helen reportedly suffered from cerebral palsy and was not able to communicate or walk, but Claire loved her sister a lot.
Claire was reportedly a star student at Lancaster Country Day School and was involved in student body politics. She was bullied in sixth grade and when she was 13, she allegedly came out to her father that she believed she was supposed to be a boy.
Lancaster Online reports Claire’s parents said she started cutting herself and having hallucinations. She allegedly told a psychiatrist she had a "boy me and a girl me that were separate from herself and not just her thoughts."
The female voice allegedly told Claire to drink blood and harm herself, but the male voice was nicer.
On the night of Feb. 21, 2021, Claire allegedly tried cutting her neck and then attempted to stab the female hallucination, but it ended up being her sister instead.
Dr. Susan Rushing, one of the psychiatrists who evaluated Claire, said the "sensation of blood on her" was what "snapped her out of it."
Both Rushing and another psychiatrist diagnosed Claire with depression, anxiety, and active psychosis during the killing. They reportedly noted the mental illnesses were caused by several factors of trauma she had been going through, including her gender dysphoria, COVID-19 isolation, bullying, and a friend’s suicide attempt.
According to Lancaster Online, if Claire gets moved to juvenile court, the focus will reportedly move to rehabilitation and supervision until she turns 21. Homicide, however, automatically counts as an adult crime in the state of Pennsylvania, but since Claire is a minor, she’s able to petition to have her case heard in front of a juvenile court judge.