Still Alive,But Legally Dead
A father who has turned up alive after more than 20
years missing has been told he will remain "legally
Donald Eugene Miller Jr, now 61, disappeared from a
town in Ohio in 1986.
Having heard nothing from him for years, his wife
applied for a court to declare him legally dead in
1994 so that benefits could be paid to their two
Mr Miller returned to the Ohio area in 2005 and was
informed by his parents of his "death".
On Monday he asked a court to reverse the decision,
saying he had been an alcoholic at the time and was
unsure what to do after losing his job.
Mr Miller had said he would like to start his life
again, or "whatever's left of it", The Courier reports.
But a judge rejected the application because there
is a three-year limit on appealing a death ruling.
Judge Davis admitted the case was a "strange,
"We've got the obvious here. A man sitting in the
courtroom, he appears to be in good health," she
"I don't know where that leaves you, but you're still
deceased as far as the law is concerned."
Mr Miller is still able to challenge the ruling in a
federal court, but his lawyer Francis Marley said he
does not have the resources to do so.