Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clayton Miller Died from Alcohol Consumption and Hypothermia: Nova Scotia Review

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clayton Miller Died from Alcohol Consumption and Hypothermia: Nova Scotia Review

Article excerpt

Clayton Miller death was accident: review

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SYDNEY, N.S. - Almost 25 years after her son's body was found face down in a shallow brook on the outskirts of a small Cape Breton town, Maureen Miller is challenging the findings of two new reports that echo a series of earlier investigations, all of which concluded Clayton Miller's death was an accident.

"It's been 25 years of hell," Maureen Miller said in an interview Thursday.

"Clayton Miller still matters to me. But to the government and the police, he doesn't matter because there are so many people in government, police forces and the medical profession that have covered this up."

She says the latest investigations, conducted by Nova Scotia's chief medical examiner and the province's independent police watchdog, failed to consider key evidence that proves her 17-year-old son was beaten before he died in 1990.

The two reports conclude Clayton Miller was drunk when he fell into the stream in New Waterford while trying to run from police who had raided a nearby bush party on May 4, 1990. His body was found two days later.

But Miller says she believes the reports are wrong.

Citing autopsy photographs, she says her son's face was badly bruised around the eyes, his upper lip was split and swollen and his nose was so distorted it had to be broken.

Miller says she wants police to reopen their investigation.

The medical examiner's report was prompted by a review presented in September to the provincial justice minister by Kathleen Dwyer, a nurse who concluded that Clayton Miller was killed by a blow to the head and that his body had been moved.

The province's Serious Incident Response Team was called in the following month when allegations surfaced that a member of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service was withholding information about the case.

The circumstances surrounding the teen's death have been the subject of endless rumours in Cape Breton, which were not quelled by the previous findings of two autopsies, a fatality inquiry, two RCMP investigations and a police commission review. …

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