Remembering BIA investigator 20 years after passing

Remembering BIA investigator 20 years after passing

MEERS, Okla._The family and friends of a Bureau of Indian Affairs investigator who died in the line of duty are remembering his legacy 20 years later.

Investigator Michael Miller was killed in the line of duty on August 28, 1995, at the age of 34. Dozens of family and friends held a vigil in his honor Saturday evening.

After 15 years in law enforcement, Miller had just transferred to the drug enforcement branch of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Artesia, New Mexico. Miller and pilot Dennis Lassik of the Army National Guard were flying in a helicopter over Bixby, Oklahoma, searching for a suspect on the run facing drug-related charges. At some point during the search, the helicopter hit a power line, causing it to crash.

The pilot died at the scene and Miller was taken to St. Francis hospital in Tulsa where he passed away shortly after he arrived. Family members say for Miller becoming a law enforcement officer was the fulfillment of a childhood dream. He said if he could get drugs off the streets, ultimately saving just one person, it would make his job worth it.

The family goes out to his graveside every year on the anniversary of his death.