Family and community of missing Sister Angela Miller seek closure

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Nearly three years since the disappearance of Sister Angela Miller, her family and the Catholic community are seeking closure.

State law requires a person to be missing for seven years before they are declared dead. In this case, the family and Miller’s fellow sisters are hoping a judge will bring closure much sooner.

On April 28, 2018 Alan Smith killed his mother, Rosemary Smith before turning the gun on Scranton Police as officers were serving a protection from abuse order. He fired three shots at officers before setting his aunt Sister Angela Miller’s house on fire and ultimately committing suicide.

Sister Angela’s body was never discovered in the rubble and has not been located since.

“After waiting this long we feel that there is little to no hope of being able to really find Angela’s body,” Sister Ellen Maroney, President Sister, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary told Eyewitness News.

Sister Maroney is asking a Lackawanna County judge to declare Sister Miller dead. Smith’s and Miller’s living sisters agree.

“They had talked to us last year about, with their lawyer, about having this petition done rather than waiting the full seven years to bring a sense of finality to them and to all of us,” Sister Maroney said.

Sister Maroney’s lawyer tells Eyewitness News that she is the trustee of Sister Miller’s financial assets and believes the judge will approve the petition based on the investigation.

“In sense of our own faith it says that Angela is at peace in heaven with God, so, while we were hoping to find the body to bring a real closure to it, we have come to the sense that it’s time in terms of the family to bring some closure,” Sister Maroney said.

A hearing is scheduled for next month during which a judge will hear the petition. It is unknown when a decision will be made.

Sister Maroney says Sister Miller was outgoing, caring, and that everyone knew her. She says Sister Miller is deeply missed.

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