Black man arrested for rape-murder of White woman on nature trail

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Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania – After months of tight-lipped investigation, a Black suspect has finally been arrested for the horrific knife murder and rape of a White woman who was found dead on a nature trail in January.

According to reports, 26-year-old Tyrik Jones was officially taken into custody by Beaver Falls police and the Beaver County Detective Bureau. Jones—who is Black—is said to be responsible for the knife murder and forcible rape of 41-year-old Rebecca Lynn Miller.

Miller—who is White—was killed on the Rails to Trails path behind Geneva College back on January 7th. Police discovered Miller’s body two days after she was reported missing from her residence at the Cornerstone Recovery and Supports facility with multiple stab wounds to her neck. Reports state that Miller showed signs of rape, as her pants had been pulled down and partially covered by a jacket.

26-year-old Tyrik Jones (left) and 41-year-old Rebecca Lynn Miller (right). Jones is believed to have brutally stabbed Miller to death on a trail behind Geneva College and raped the woman before fleeing the scene. Miller was left for dead for two days and was originally reported missing back in January. Collage: Justice Report.

While little information had been given by authorities at the time, police reports later revealed that Jones had been spotted in multiple surveillance camera videos the day of the murder. In addition to several text messages on the victim’s phone, Police identified Jones as the lead suspect and made an arrest in the case.

DNA testing later confirmed a match between DNA left on Miller’s body and that found in a sample provided by Jones. During interrogation, Jones denied being in a relationship with Miller and admitted that the two had walked on the trail that day, but he “left her behind to meditate.”

Jones would then attempt to change his story numerous times, eventually claiming that he didn’t remember much that day after he took an unidentified “medication.” For the crime, Jones has been charged with felony counts of homicide, rape and threats of rape. He is currently held in custody at the Beaver County Jail without bail.

The death of “Becky” Miller proved to be a source of controversy in Beaver Falls. Local residents grew concerned after the Town Council refused to give details surrounding the case. That concern grew to veritable outrage after they had been told that there was “no danger to the community” despite the police having no suspects at the time.

Those closest to Miller felt that frustration hardest. According to a friend who was one of the last people to see Miller before she died, Jones and the victim may have known each other, possibly through her non-profit work, adding that her loss is nothing but “terrible.”

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“Becky is going to be in my heart forever. I’m going to really miss her. She was special, and she didn’t deserve this,” said Jamie Botinovch told Channel 11 in January. “To supposedly be walking with a friend in broad daylight, where you can almost be seen from the streets, and commit such a horrible act to such a beautiful person, regardless of what was happening… it’s terrible.”

“It’s driving me crazy that nothing is happening,” he said at the time. “This isn’t that big of a town. If it’s in broad daylight, there’s cameras everywhere. How something like this can be missed, I don’t know.”

In life, Miller was remembered as a caring friend and compassionate spirit with ties to local charitable organizations. She worked as a catering chef for Crop and Kettle, a faith-based food service organization in neighboring New Brighton. The 41-year-old was said to have dreams of eventually opening her own church and starting a food distribution service.

“She wanted to eventually get a loan for a church, and start a soup kitchen up. She said even if I have to start it out of the back of my car, I will. I want to help people out,” Botinovch said.

Jones pictured being taken into custody by Beaver Police. Authorities finally made an arrest months after the crime had been committed, leaving many in the community to grow concerned over safety. Photo: WPXI

The city of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, like many in the Keystone State, currently faces the grim prospects of racial demographic change. At the time of the 2020 US Census Report, the city was home to a White population of only 68.4%.

Standing face to face with a growing Black population (21.7%) and mixed-race population (6.3%), White residents of the northwest suburb of Pittsburgh continue to suffer despite their vanishing majority. According to statistics from the US Census Bureau, Pennsylvania’s White population was the only racial or ethnic group to decrease between the years of 2010 and 2017.

Black Americans, like the one arrested for the abhorrent knife murder of Becky Miller, have a documented history of savage acts of violence directed toward vulnerable White people.

In April, a Black felon was arrested for the brutal malice murder of White 39-year-old Anzley Gandy in Tifton, Georgia. The suspect, Black 38-year-old Wayne Doyle, was said to have been in possession of a “considerable” amount of drugs and attempted to grab a police officer’s firearm during arrest.

Last week, the bodies of White 97-year-old Miles Herrington and 94-year-old Ina Herrington were found dead in their own home in Meridian, Mississippi. For the crime, police arrested Black 29-year-old Maurice Christie, who was said to have used particularly violent means to kill the elderly couple. Thanks to a surge in Black-related killings, local residents claimed their town had earned the unfortunate nickname of “Murderidian.”

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