By Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
When word came down last week that a press conference was scheduled in Floyd concerning the Evelyn Miller case, there was, of course, a stir in the newsroom.
It had been seven years since the body of the 5-year-old was discovered. Despite the time lapse, no one has forgotten — not the family of Evelyn, the communities of Floyd and the Cedar Valley and those who have covered and read the stories.
And certainly not those involved in the investigation.
On Thursday, a group of those people spoke at the news conference, in which it was announced murder charges were being brought against Casey Frederiksen.
“We finally, over the course of seven years, feel like we have enough evidence to bring the case to the county attorney’s office,” said Chari Paulson, assistant director for the Division of Criminal Investigation. “All of the evidence has pointed us directly at Casey Frederiksen.”
Evelyn Miller disappeared July 1, 2005, from an apartment in rural Floyd County. She lived with her mother, Noel Miller, Frederiksen and the couple’s 1- and 2-year-old sons. When she went missing, Evelyn was in the care of Frederiksen.
Two kayakers found the girl’s body in the Cedar River between Floyd and Charles City on July 6, 2005.
It was a heartbreaking discovery after a massive, weeklong search involving hundreds of law enforcement officials, firefighters, specialty teams and volunteers.
No one living in the area will forget that week.
Sheriff Rick Lynch noted he and other officers helped collect Evelyn’s body from the river — a difficult moment in his career. On Thursday, he was visibly emotional.
“This is a glorious day,” he said.
We can only imagine the feelings that came with this landmark day for those who were personally involved.
“It’s been a long time, and a lot of professionals have been working very hard, and they have a right to be proud,” said Floyd County Attorney Normand Klemesrud.
We too, are proud of these professionals.
With Frederiksen already securely behind bars for many years on child pornography and drug convictions, law enforcement officials were able to be meticulous in gathering evidence. Still, it’s been long seven years for many.
Richard Christie, Evelyn’s grandfather, summed up the pain that family members have been living with since the news of July of 2005.
“This is the happiest day in the last seven years,” he said. “We are hopeful and prayerful that justice will be done.”
Due to the work of all these public servants who have had a hand in this investigation, we are closer to that day.