Mother and boyfriend beat 8-year-old daughter to death, drove halfway across the country in a trailer with her body to “spend more time with her,” police say

Various law enforcement agencies across the country are coordinating after a couple were arrested in South Dakota for allegedly driving around with the body of the woman’s daughter in tow and never reporting the girl’s death to police.

On December 14, Mitchell, South Dakota, police arrested Mandie Miller, 33, and her boyfriend Aleksander Kurmoyarov, 28, after a local coroner called police to provide a disturbing report. Someone had called the Davison County coroner’s office, claiming they were driving to the area with “her late daughter” from Airway Heights, Washington. Police then located Mitchell and Kurmoyarov in Mitchell and allegedly discovered the remains of Miller’s 8-year-old adopted daughter in a coffin in the back of a “U-Haul trailer”. The couple had been in state for four days when they were arrested.

When asked, Miller and Kurmoyarov gave conflicting information about the girl’s death, police said. Kurmoyarov reportedly told them the girl died “just before Halloween 2022,” while Miller claimed she died on September 10. Kurmoyarov also reportedly added that the couple never reported the girl’s death to the authorities because they “wanted to spend more.” time with her” and feared they “might get into trouble.” The two never sought medical attention for the girl, the Mitchell police report said.

Mitchell police arrested the couple and each charged them with failure to notify law enforcement of the death of a child. Mitchell PD also contacted the Airway Heights Police Department and Spoken, who had issued an arrest warrant for the couple for murder by abuse. The couple remain incarcerated in South Dakota on federal charges. It is not known whether federal authorities intervened in this case.

It is currently unclear whether Miller or Kurmoyarov is threatened with extradition to Washington. Failure to report the death of a child in South Dakota is a Class 5 Crime punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000. Murder by abuse in Washington is a class a Crime carrying a maximum penalty of at least 20 years and $50,000.

Washington police said they also coordinated with the Spokane Tribal Police Department, and the couple claimed their ultimate destination was South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It remains unclear whether Miller and/or Kurmoyarov claim membership in a state-recognized indigenous tribe. It is also possible that the deceased girl had a tribal affiliation.

It’s also odd that the couple said they wanted to drive to the reservation since the reservation is in the southwest corner of South Dakota while Mitchell is about 270 miles to the east. In other words, if the couple intended to drive to the reservation, then they drove four and a half or five hours around the corner. Kurmoyarov also appears to be wearing a wedding ring in the booking photo, but police reports suggest he and Miller are not married. Mother and boyfriend beat 8-year-old daughter to death, drove halfway across the country in a trailer with her body to “spend more time with her,” police say

Laura Coffey

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