When I first stumbled across this “breaking news”, I got all excited, thinking I was going to be hearing about a landmark case involving a real-life zombie. Unfortunately, it was not to be, although this is still pretty bizarre.
Seems that back around 1986, Ohioan Donald Miller, Jr. disappeared. Despite the fact that police and Miller’s ex-wife, who was looking to collect on some long-overdue child support, searched high and low for him, no trace of Donald Miller, Jr. was ever found. So finally, in 1994, the state declared Donald Miller, Jr. officially “dead” and cut a substantial check to his ex, Robin Miller, for Social Security due to her and her children.
Pretty boring story so far, right? Well, something weird happened about a decade after Donald Miller, Jr. was declared dead: people started seeing him walking the streets of Fostoria, Ohio.
Now, it would have been totally cool if Miller was wandering the streets by the light of a full moon, crying out for brains. That wasn’t the case, though. Turns out that Miller, who is now 61, had just moved back to Ohio after spending the past few decades living in Georgia and Florida. When asked about his disappearance, Miller claimed he did it simply because he owed his ex a lot of back child support…and he’s apparently a bit of an alcoholic, too. But now, Miller was ready to put all that in the past and went to court to have that whole “legally dead” thing overturned so he could get his Social Security number reinstated, apply for a driver’s license, and do all sorts of other cool things the living do.
There was a problem, though. The time limit for overturning a ruling that declares someone dead is three years. So even though Hancock County Probate Court Judge Allan Davis admitted that the man standing in court “appears to be in good health”, he had to deny Miller’s claim, thereby upholding the court’s original ruling that Donald Miller, Jr. was dead. And while the judge’s ruling was a disappointment to Miller, his ex-wife was extremely happy as she claimed she was unable to pay back all of the money she had received from Social Security in 1994.
So there you have it, folks; a legally “dead” man walking the streets of an Ohio town. Although in this case, I think he’s more “deadbeat” than “dead”.