On March 11, 2017 at 8:47 AM, Champaign Police Officers responded to the Carle Hospital Emergency Department after receiving a report that 15-year-old Luke Miller of Champaign was receiving treatment for a serious medical condition. As a result of his condition, Miller was transferred to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO., where he ultimately passed away.
Champaign Police Detectives have remained in contact with the St. Louis City Medical Examiner’s Office, who have led the medical investigation of Miller’s death due to the unusual circumstances surrounding his passing.
Based on findings from the medical examiner’s office, Luke Miller appears to have suffered from a previously undiagnosed medical condition, which on the morning of Saturday, March 11, progressed rapidly and led to his death.
It should be noted that the autopsy report indicates there is no evidence to suggest that Luke Miller was the victim of a violent crime. The autopsy did not reveal the presence of any trauma or significant injury that would be consistent with being attacked or beaten, but that Miller’s death was tragic and medically related.
Champaign Police Detectives have worked tirelessly to ensure a thorough criminal investigation into the circumstances leading up to Luke’s passing, especially considering widely reported allegations that Luke was the victim of bullying. There have been numerous stories, rumors, and inaccurate reports regarding the death of Luke Miller that have been circulated through the media and various social media outlets. This information has often been factually inaccurate, and in many cases, determined to be unfounded.
Throughout the investigation, Champaign Police Detectives have interviewed a number of friends and family, and students and faculty at Centennial High School, with full cooperation from Unit 4 Administration. Additionally, Detectives have observed countless hours of video footage from the school, including footage of Miller’s travel to his classes in the week leading into his passing. Police have consistently found throughout the investigation that Luke was well-liked. The criminal investigation did not reveal bullying or battery as a contributing factor or result of his death.
The allegation of battery has ignited a healthy conversation around the safety, well-being, and behaviors of our youth as it relates to bullying. As well, it has highlighted the influence of media and the emotions a community can absorb when information is shared hastily. The Champaign Police Department is committed to providing a safe environment for all citizens, especially children in our community. We stand ready to assist our community with further efforts to educate and prevent bullying of any kind.
The Miller Family asks that their privacy be respected during this time. “We understand the desires to want to know more, however this is a difficult time and we ask that our immediate and extended family and friends be given privacy and time to heal. Although Luke has been the subject of bullying during his school years, his death was due to natural causes. We sincerely appreciate the work done by the Champaign Police Department and will continue discussions with Champaign Unit 4 representatives on initiatives that would support healthy discussion around bullying and interpersonal interactions between youth and adults,” the Miller Family shared.
The Millers ask that the general community be supportive of these initiatives as they are announced, concluding that “Our family’s hope is that everyone strives to be more kind and thoughtful daily to honor how our son lived.”
The Champaign Police Department extends its continued thoughts and condolences to the Miller family as well as the broader community.
Related News Release: Champaign Police Conduct Death Investigation