Friends fear for man’s safety

Barb Sweet
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Josh Miller, 20, missing since Friday; RNC asks public for help

Josh Miller is kind-hearted and a motivated hard worker and his friends are desperately searching for him.

“He is a really good guy,” said sailing pal Simon Rees, who met Miller in sea cadets.

“A good friend for sure.”

Tuesday, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) asked residents in the area of Blue Puttee Drive and Stavanger Drive in east end St. John’s to check their properties for any signs of the missing 20-year-old.

Miller was last seen early Friday morning when he reportedly got out of a cab in the area.

Based on accounts of some of his friends who spoke to The Telegram, including one who was with him on the Thursday night-Friday morning outing, there was an unfortunate set of circumstances and a George Street altercation, that, despite all good intentions, led to things going awry.

The RNC criminal investigation division, mounted unit, K-9 unit and Rovers Ground Search and Rescue are still actively searching for Miller since his reported disappearance. There was also a helicopter on the scene Tuesday.

On Sunday, the RNC received a missing person report concerning Miller. He is described as being 5’9” and 175 pounds. He has short, sandy-coloured hair and blue eyes.

At the time of his disappearance he was wearing jeans and a black T-shirt, according to police.

“It has been quite cold the last few nights,” RNC spokeswoman Const. Talia Murphy told media outside RNC headquarters Tuesday, while noting Saturday’s snowstorm.

“Given his attire at the time, we are concerned for his safety,” Murphy said.

Police weren’t saying much publicly about the circumstances surrounding Miller’s disappearance.

Longtime friend Brad Roche, who has led searches for Miller after the official police search ends at dark, said Miller was involved in an altercation outside the Sundance bar on George Street before he went missing. Roche also said Miller earlier had a fight with his girlfriend and was upset as it seemed to be the first serious relationship he’d had as a young man.

But by all accounts Miller had a lot going for him, hoped to join the RNC one day and worked two jobs — one at a bar, another at a home improvement store —  to fund his university studies and pay for his recently acquired car.

“Everything he had, he done it himself,” said Roche, who also knew Miller from cadets and worked with him at the Martini Bar until Roche moved on about a month ago.

But they remained close friends and Roche was supposed to meet up with Miller and friends that Thursday night downtown.

 Close to foster parents

Roche said his friend remained in the home of his foster parents and they were closer than many blood families are.

“Josh never refers to them by their first names. It’s always mom and dad,” Roche said.

Miller had a hard-luck background with his biological family, but things were really turning around for him, Roche said, adding Roche’s marks were up.

“He’s the happiest he’s been in years,” he said.

And all his friends — The Telegram spoke to several Tuesday — say it was not at all like Miller to ever not show up for work — he was due to work Friday and Saturday nights at the bar. And if for some reason he couldn’t make it, he’d call.

Roche said the account he got about Thursday night-early Friday morning was that Miller  bumped into another guy in the Sundance. But he said nowadays, the bar atmosphere is such it doesn’t end simply at that.

“You bump into someone like you will in a packed club and everyone thinks they are tough,” Roche said.

“There is no such thing as going downtown and having a casual night.”

Kyle St. Croix, who worked with Miller as bouncers at the Martini Bar, was with him that night, along with two other friends.

He isn’t exactly sure how the altercation started but, according to St. Croix, it broke out on the Sundance dance floor and Miller got kicked out.

He was upset over the incident and drunk, St. Croix said, adding he and his friends tried to calm him down outside. He was put to the ground briefly to settle him. But that’s when things went awry. The guy he was in the racket with inside the bar ran over and kicked Miller in the head, St. Croix said.

“It was a solid kick to the head,”

St. Croix said, adding it’s believed that the other guy had a knife and they feared he had intent to do real harm to Miller.

So it was decided the two friends would put him in a cab, while St. Croix held off the group of guys who were after Miller.

St. Croix said his other two friends got cut in the altercation with the other guy and St. Croix said the trio stayed behind to file a police report.

Meantime he said they thought that Miller would go home and sleep it off.

Sometimes stayed with friends

Roche said Miller’s habit, when out late was usually to go to a friend’s place instead of his foster home because he didn’t want to disturb anyone.

St. Croix lives in the Stavanger Drive area and said if Miller was going to his place, his doors were locked. He said Miller had a blazer and dress shirt on over a T-shirt and jeans, but when he got in the cab, the shirt and blazer were gone.

“The issue is he probably wasn’t thinking straight,” said St. Croix, who suspects now that Miller could have had a concussion from the kick in the head. “I look back at the situation and so many things had to add up for this to happen.”

St. Croix said when Miller didn’t turn up Friday at work, friends thought he was ashamed of the night’s events, although it was unlike him not to turn up for work.

“I haven’t slept in days. …  Everyone did what they were supposed to do,” he said, noting the protocol of putting a friend in cab when he needs to go home.

Roche said the cab driver is claiming Miller hopped out of the cab without paying and went into the woods, something friends also say is hard to believe.

“He’s just not that type of guy,” said Roche.

For one, Miller wanted to get in the RNC and wouldn’t jeopardize his chances with such an act, friends say.

For another, if he was short of cash, he would usually instruct a driver to take him to a bank machine.

“Him skipping out on a cab, that doesn’t sound like him at all,” friend Alexandria Boyd said.

Miller apparently left his cellphone behind in the cab.

Roche and other friends say Miller, if he was upset, would sometimes go off and stay with a buddy for awhile, but always acknowledged where he was.

Some of his friends are holding out hope that’s exactly what happened, even speculating he might be a bit embarrassed now because of the search efforts. But even so, they say it wouldn’t be like him to not come forward if he knew what was going on.

Nightly searches

Since finding out Miller was missing Sunday, Roche has led as many as 30 people out at night looking for Miller, beating every path for signs of his friend. He planned to go out again Tuesday night with more than a dozen helpers.  But still, he’s dreading being the one who stumbles on his friend, if he’s perished.

“We’re after going crazy the last few days looking,” Roche said.

“We all have the same goal in the end,” said another pal, Chris Duke.

Boyd last saw Miller last week when he dropped into the Second Cup on Stavanger Drive where she works for his usual order — a frozen hot chocolate. His visits always made her workday.

“It’s a complete shock. Josh is so sweet, the most gentle-hearted person ever. He just wants to make you feel better when you are having an upset day,” she said.

“I don’t even know what to think. … Everybody is really hoping he’s at somebody’s house. It’s scary. …  I just want him to come home.”

Barbara Silveira, like others, described Miller as happy-go-lucky. She also used to work with him at the bar.

“He would just do anything to help anyone out, lend an ear,” she said.

“Many times at the end of the night, he’d give me a drive home.”

“He looks after everybody,” Crystal Parsons said.

“He is an amazing guy. Super fun and a really great friend,” said Erika Eason, who regrets losing touch with him lately.

“All his friends and family are worried about him and we just want him to come home safe.”

Simon Rees describes Miller as a good sailer — they have worked together summers on the race committee at the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club.

“I got to say it’s really nerve-wracking,” Rees said of Miller’s disappearance. “I haven’t been sleeping very well. Everyone is still confused and shocked by it.”

Anyone who has any information pertaining to the whereabouts of Joshua Miller is asked to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can provide information anonymously on the NL Crime Stoppers Website at

Organizations: RNC, Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club, Crime Stoppers NL Crime Stoppers Website

Geographic location: George Street, Stavanger Drive, Alexandria

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Recent comments

  • Mary
    February 14, 2013 - 23:56

    JOSH,a fantastic son full of happiness and love for life, Never ever showed disprect in his home and was a young man who had absoluteLy no hang up with drug what so ever. So much potential for him in life as he was a very bright young man, Just enjoying life to the fullest while at the same time searching for the acceptance into the RNC, We love him, are so very proud of him, He knew his home and he knew his freedom to come home at any time regardless of the circumstances and we were there for him, He had everything going for himself and is not ready to leave us at yet. Josh, we will continue looking until you are home with us, Missing You Very Much....Love from all.

    • Concerned
      February 15, 2013 - 14:07

      Mary, there are so many people thinking about Josh and his family (you) and praying he's okay. Every day I have been saying to myself over and over, please let him be found safe and sound today. Don't give up or lose hope, we are all hoping and praying with you and prayer does work. I know we are not privy to all information or anything, but it seems to me the police need to up their efforts. I'm saying that because he's still missing. They're probably just not saying, but obviously there's more to the cab driver's story than what we've been told. And what about the idiot guys downtown that assaulted him? And what about the comment from "ISEENHIM" below, has that been looked into? This is one of the worst things I've heard about in our "safe" little quaint city of St. John's, and yet it seems like the police are just letting it fade away, and I desperately hope I'm wrong... My friend's cousin went missing many years ago and I'm not positive, but I think there was talk of either the police or the family using a psychic to help with the investigation. I know it's very far-fetched and it's just a thought, but it could possibly help, and that's better than nothing right now... Please let him be found safe and sound today!!

  • Co-Worker
    February 13, 2013 - 21:55

    A few of Josh's co-workers are interested in meeting up with Josh's friends tommorrow (Thursday) evening to help with the search. Is there anyone we can contact regarding meeting up & getting some instructions on where you'd like us to search?

  • Where is the RNC?
    February 13, 2013 - 14:36

    Where is the RNC in this investigation? This poor man was kicked in the head and his friends were stabbed? How far do assaults need to go for this to be made priority? Where are investigations into the assault? This could be a potential manslaughter and it should be followed up with... I can't beleive the system is letting this slip through the cracks.. Can't stop thinking about this poor child. Hope all is ok and he returns home soon, thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends.

  • Concerned Friend
    February 13, 2013 - 13:58

    I do fell as though this article got a little personal on Josh's life, this information should have been sent to the police, not fed to the public in such detail. However, Josh was a great guy! I didn't know him overallly well by no means. But what I did know, was he was a hard worker and he was always up for meeting and getting to know new people! My thoughts and prayers are with him family. Come home soon Josh!!

  • Concerned Friend
    February 13, 2013 - 13:14

    1) I hope the RNC are looking at the closed circuit television system they put into place not too long ago. I feel as though that would be helpful in this investigation. I also hope that the RNC has done due diligence with the cab driver as well. 2) This article goes WAY over the line with regards to personal information which isn't even pertinent to this investigation. It's actually shocking. 3) I have so much respect for those of you who are searching for Josh. He's a great guy and I'm shocked to hear of the events leading up to his disappearance. I hope he's found soon.

  • Iseenhim
    February 13, 2013 - 12:36

    I worked with josh a couple months back for almost a year. So I would be able to pick josh out of a crowd. I know 100% tha I seen josh on Friday morning @ 810 on Baird street off of Wicklow over by the Avalon mall. He had on a black windbreaker that I have seen him in before. I called crime stoppers and the RNC twice. Have not heard back from the RNC. I'm just wondering when he was dropped off in the cab because if it was before I have seen him the police and all of his friends are searching in the wrong area.

    • Friend
      February 13, 2013 - 16:01

      I seen somewhere that he was put in the cab around 2am, and I doubt he was in the cab for 6 hours. Probably a valuable piece of information. Have you by any chance heard back from the RNC yet?

    • concerned
      February 13, 2013 - 19:10

      His brother left his number with the CBC studios, you should call and get the number and let them know what you saw, any information helps.

  • Balbalony
    February 13, 2013 - 12:20

    What about this cab driver, has he been looked at yet, maybe Josh, drunk, said something he shouldn't of said, and the driver could of kick him out of his cab in another area. Sounds a little out there, but who know's. Just a thought.

  • Very Concerned
    February 13, 2013 - 12:03

    Does anyone know if there are any search efforts continuing today by volunteers? I would love to help if anyone can let me know the details!!!! Such a said story. My heart goes out to his friends and family xo

  • Resident
    February 13, 2013 - 11:33

    Well I’m glad they mentioned the possible head injury because he could have amnesia and he could’ve wandered pretty far from Stavanger Drive by now. He may have picked up clothing somewhere too. He could be in Kilbride, Goulds, Shea Heights or any outlying area. Being outside this long, he will look a lot more weather-worn than in the submitted photos. The personal stuff is nothing to hide at all and no more than young people put on Facebook anyway. George Street needs more cops obviously from this and numerous other incidents down there. Why haven’t the City and Dept. of Tourism done something about it? A lot of people won’t go there anymore. Young people like to hang out in groups and such but George Street has gotten to be a dangerous, seedy part of town. There are clubs in other parts of town where it’s safe to hang out or work and have a great time without all the criminal crap. I have never heard of Josh Miller but I am very concerned about him as are many other people in the public. He sounds like a pretty decent guy so let’s find him.

  • Bernice
    February 13, 2013 - 11:07

    Something dont seem right here.If your friend got kicked in the head on George Street wouldn,t you get medical help instead of sending him in a cab by himself.My thoughts and prayers to his family.Hope you find him soon.

    • kyle st.croix
      February 13, 2013 - 13:01

      You obviously haven't been on george street very much. 1 there were no police or ambulance in sight while the altercation is happening 2 the guys that cut my other two friends while protecting josh were just that, after josh. he needed to get out of there before the attacker got to him which is what we did. josh was fine from the kick, I'd seen him take worse before and laugh at it.

  • Good Friend.... no need barb sweet
    February 13, 2013 - 11:03

    I agree totally! The telegram went in the wrong direction with this article including unessessary information! This is exactly why I myself did not respond to Barb Sweet's request for interview about Josh. Disgusted with how you wrote this article! Hoping and Praying for the best outcome possible with finding our friend Josh! My thoughts and with him and his family! Keep good spirits everybody and bring him home safe!

  • Concerned Resident
    February 13, 2013 - 11:02

    Well first of all, Josh's personal life is no ones business. I do not know Josh but from what i am hearing he is the kind of man everyone would like. I hope that he is found very soon and comes home to his family and friends. Josh did nothing wrong at all and he dont need to be embarrassed about anything.He is just a special guy that needs to be found real soon.

  • Liz
    February 13, 2013 - 10:39

    Shame on The Telegram for including so much personal detail about this man's life. We do not need to know this amount of personal detail. The main focus should only be on the search for him and the details pertinent to the same. If friends are worried and talking too much about his life then the professionals at The Telegram should take the role of protecting his privacy with regard to what they publish. My thoughts and prayers remain with this young man and his family and friends.

  • Friend
    February 13, 2013 - 10:35

    A lot of this info shouldn't be out, but when reporters ask youg men and women about a missing friend, it is hard for them to know what to say and how much they should say. As the RNC are investigating any incident that happened before hand, it is important for us, the public, to follow their leads and conclusions. Be mindful of what information is out as rumors. Josh is a great, great guy, and we want to see him home safely and not feel overwhelmed or emabarrased, etc about any of this. Friends, keep info about his personal life away from the media, and inform the RNC, they are the ones that will help. Residents of the area, please check your yards, sheds, garages. Best of luck to everyone who is helping and thank-you to all the dedicated friends, family and officals in this search.

  • WTF Barb
    February 13, 2013 - 10:32

    Barb Sweet, what are you thinking? There was no need for you to comment on Josh's personal life. You took your discussion with one of his concerned friends who only has Josh's best interest in mind and turned it into a gossip piece on Josh's life. You offered next to no new useful information, and instead published downtown gossip and rumors. Shame on you and shame on the Telegram. I suggest you put down your Macbook and go knock on door in the Stavanger Drive area asking if people have checked their back would do more good than your piece.

  • victoria
    February 13, 2013 - 10:19

    Someone knoes something and just not saying a thing which is horrbible put yourself in his mom or dads or sisters shoes , what if it was your brother or son ! And if ya don't want no one to know call the rnc and tell them u can't know ! I hope he is found :( its so heartbreaking

  • me
    February 13, 2013 - 09:50

    I agree with Blair...why is there so much about his personal life being broadcast?? I do know about his personal life as I have known him and his siblings for many years but I see no reason why that should be made a part of this investigation. The main concern should be in finding him....Come home safe Josh...your family loves and misses you

  • Chad
    February 13, 2013 - 09:31

    I don't know Josh personally but he went to my high school and I have seen him on occasion working downtown. It is clear how much respect that his friends and colleagues have for him. Seems to me like he is a hard working man on his way to a bright future. I hope that he can return to his family and friends safe.

  • The Story when he is found
    February 13, 2013 - 08:26

    I would love to hear the story of when they find him. You hear of people and teens going missing ALL THE TIME, money and time put into finding them but never the story of how they went missing or how they were found?

    • JDavis
      February 13, 2013 - 11:15

      "The story when he is found" is not important what is important is that he IS FOUND SAFE. Your are a strange one. Do you also chase fire trucks to see if the people are still inside. Try reading murder mystery it is a more acceptable outlet for your morbid attitude.

  • Blair
    February 13, 2013 - 08:15

    I certainly hope this young man is found. I am however puzzled as to why his life's story has been published and broadcast. If he is found (hopefully) he may be miffed by the amount of personal information about him that has been given out. I guess "need to know basis" doesn't apply here.

    • KellyS
      February 13, 2013 - 09:02

      Not when you have a bunch of 20 year olds talking to the media... There is certainly a lot more than we need to know written in this article. At the same time, the events leading up to his disappearance are unusual.... I hope he is found safe and sound.

    • Elizabeth
      February 13, 2013 - 13:50

      I am absolutely APPALED at that comment. Really "kellys"? a bunch of 20-year-olds? He likes to go out and enjoy his time, but he is NO WHERE CLOSE to the bunch of '20-year-old' immature scumbags or whatever than you seem to be thinking he or his friends are. How about YOU get your facts straight and not make rash assumptions. I personally, a 21 year old tax-paying and hard working student, take people like Josh as a great example of how to enjoy your early twenties AND contribute to their communities. So next time anyone has anything negative or harsh to say about this young man or his friends, keep in mind these people you talk about just maybe arent as troublemaking as you were or even as you think. We ARE going to be taking care of our older generation in the future afterall.

  • Marlene
    February 13, 2013 - 07:49

    another thing the search and rescue that is involved...are they using infrared cameras or googles to pick up a sighting because if he is god forbid hurt he may not be able to get into a spot to be seen.,,,,just a thought because anything to bring him home at this point in time is needed. Praying for his safe return.

  • Concerned resident
    February 13, 2013 - 07:45

    So heartbreaking not to know where the young man is .People just don't go missing for no reason .Hopefully it will end with nothing but happiness .If you are safe Josh just come forward so everyone won't be out of their minds worring about you .Even just contact one of your friends I'm sure they are there for you . I 'm praying for you to be safe just like all the others .You are too too young to leave your family & friends yet ,you have lots to live for !!!!!!!!!!

  • Marlene
    February 13, 2013 - 07:44

    have the cameras been checked i wonder to see if the attacker may have not hopped a cab also and followed this young man. I do hope he is found safe and sound and sooner than later. If by chance he is not coming home due to embarrasement then my darling don't be. There is no reason to feel bad or ashamed. If you are in hiding and just afraid please go home. By reading all those articles it is clear there are alot of people out there that love and support you. Just go home and be safe. And in case the attacker is also reading all this....think one day this could be your son that someone does this to. Karma is a biotch and always come back to bite you in the arse.

    • Jennifer Davis
      February 13, 2013 - 08:41

      Well said Marlene. And checking the cameras for the attacker is also a good idea. This story is hearbreaking. There are so many supporative people only wishing and praying for a positive outcome. His foster parents must be terrific people to have so many of his friends say such wonderful things about young Josh. He was definately raised with love and understanding because he shows it to others.

  • Andrew
    February 13, 2013 - 07:35

    CBC describes him as 6'1" which is more accurate. He is not 5'9. Hopefully he is found safe and sound.

  • Resident
    February 13, 2013 - 07:06

    People don’t just disappear. He’s got to be somewhere and according to this story he may have a head injury and in need of medical attention so people everywhere in the greater metro area please keep an eye out for this young man and it only takes a minute to call the RNC if you see someone that could be him. Officers on patrol will check it out. He could be in any area and he could have gotten warmer clothes from one of the clothing drop-off bins.

    • iwasthere
      February 13, 2013 - 07:42

      has anyone bothered to check out the area by the Majestic? There is a sheltered doorway area that is covered in sleeping bags. Everytime I drive by there are people sleeping there!