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Private investigator recalls Chase case
Gorham, N.Y.- Last Friday, a jury found Rose Chase guilty of killing and dismembering her husband, Adam Chase.
When Adam Chase's family walked out of the courtroom that day, family friend and private investigator Rodney Miller was also there.
Miller has been credited with playing a major role in the case. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said if it wasnt for Millers doggedness the case may have never been solved.
Adam Chase disappeared in the summer of 2012. Miller knew Adam and felt that there was foul play involved when he got word that Adam was missing. Being a family friend, Miller said he wanted to help the Chase family find their son and brother. He volunteered to do the work pro bono.
For more than six months, Miller says he followed tips and leads. He says he felt in his gut that Rose had killed Adam from the beginning.
From what I dug into, what I was told, things I was finding out, my heart just told me that Adam never left the house alive, Miller explained.
His first conversation with Rose Chase came on July 8, 2012. Miller went over to the couples home in Stanley, N.Y.
He said he asked Rose at the time whether she had pushed Adam during an argument and if he had fallen down the stairs. He explained to her that accidents were forgivable.
She put her head down and shook a little, Miller recalled. All of a sudden, she says, He walked out of the house. Im just sorry I didnt see which way he went. I looked right at her and said I think you killed him, and I left.
Miller says he felt that the way Rose was shaking and quivering she would have confessed at that time.
On a second visit to the Chase home twenty days later, Rose allowed Miller to look around the home. Even he was a bit surprised at the access she was giving him.
[As a private investigator] I really have no legal power, Miller explained. If Rose had just been smart enough and said the first time I met her, I dont want to talk to you and dont come on my property, I would have been done.
When Miller asked Chase if he could enter the basement she said nostating that it was flooded because a sump pump was broken.
Miller remembers thinking that excuse was odd because it was a relatively dry summer. Eventually, Miller convinced Rose to let him in the basement.
She was trembling, he said. She wasnt shaking. She was trembling and when I went down the steps, by the third step you could smell death.
When he asked Rose about the smell, she said there were dead animals in the basement.
Miller looked around and while he noticed the smell of decomposition,but he didnt notice anything else suspicious. He made it a point to open and check a chest freezer because Adams family had mentioned it before, but nothing was inside.
By the time of this visit, Miller says Roses new boyfriend had moved in.
When he was about to leave, he asked her, What are you going to do when one of these nights Adam comes home and finds you in bed with another man? Its a good way to get killed.
According to Miller, Rose responded, Hes not coming. Im not taking him back.
Eventually, months passed and Adam was still missing. Throughout this time, the Ontario County Sheriffs Office continued to treat his disappearance as a missing persons case. This frustrated Miller and Adam Chases family, who always believed that he had been murdered.
One day in December, Miller had had enough. After six months of digging and hitting walls, Miller decided to try and get to Rose one last time. It was a last ditch effort.
I was running out of options. This was it. I couldnt dig anymore.
On December 13, Miller asked Roses babysitter to tell Rose that she had heard breaking news that an arrest would be made soon for the murder of her husband, Adam.
When Rose came to pick up her son, the babysitter told Rose exactly what Miller had asked.
According to the babysitter, Rose turned white, started shaking and muttering Oh my god. Oh my god.
On the way home, Rose texted the babysitter to ask what else she had heard.
A few minutes later, Rodney went to the Chase home and met Rose on the porch. Then, he lied to her.
I said, I think I have enough evidence against you to get an indictment for murder and to arrest you, Miller recalled. Just like that she shook like a leaf and plopped down on the step and started rocking back and forth. I said, Rose, Ive had enough. Its killing you and its killing me and youre never going to be at peace until you give him up. Where did you bury him?
Thats when, according to Miller, Rose said to him, I didnt bury him. I took him to my mothers. I burned him.
She explained to Miller that had transported Adams badly decomposed body piece by piece and the bones were hidden on her mothers property in Yates County. She said that Adams body had been in the basement for about two to three weeks.
This was the confession the Chase family had been waiting for for months.
Investigators found remains at Roses mothers home and she was arrested on second degree murder, tampering with evidence and endangering the welfare of a child charges.
A jury eventually found her guilty on all three charges.
Miller says he was persistent with this case because he had made a promise to Adams family.
I wasnt trying to show the Sheriffs Office up. I made a promise to the Chase family that I would find their son. I kept my promise.
Miller says his only regret is never asking Rose why she did what she did.
He didnt know at the time that whatever she said to him would be admissible in court and that Rose didnt have to be Mirandized because Miller was not a law enforcement officer.
However, he is still proud of the work he did and hes honored the DA thought he played a valuable role.
Miller says that on two different occasions he did reach out to Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero to tell him about the information he gathered. However, Miller believes he was ignored. The Sheriffs Office did go into the basement with dogs, but didnt find anything suspicious. The dogs that were used were not cadaver dogs.
The Ontario County Sheriffs Office responded to allegations that it mishandled this case:We handled this case as we would any missing persons case. Missing person cases are inherently difficult because you never know what that missing persons case is going to turn into.