If Clifford couldn’t have Britny, then no-one would…

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When sisters Britny Haarup and Ashley Key disappeared, leaving two babies unsupervised, their family worried they’d been kidnapped. But blood at the scene pointed to an even more sinister fate…

They were young mums, sisters, family…Britny Haarup, 19, and Ashley Key, 22, were close.

Ashley had previously fallen in with the wrong crowd, but was determined to turn her life around. And Britny was there to support her. So Ashley was staying on her younger sister’s sofa as she started to make positive changes to her life.

She had a 4-year-old daughter she doted on, and Britny was a brilliant mum to her own two girls.

But in July 2012, when Britny’s fiance Matt Meyers arrived at her home in Edgerton, Missouri, around 4pm after finishing work, the sisters were nowhere to be seen…

Their shoes and bags hadn’t been touched, and Britny’s mobile phone was there, too. And her kids – aged 5 months and 18 months – were asleep in the house. Police suspected they’d been left alone since 9.30am. None of it made sense.

‘She is a very good mother – she would never leave her kids at home, especially for that amount of time,’ Matt’s sister Cassandra said at the time.

And, disturbingly, there was blood in the house, and a blood-soaked quilt.The sisters were reported missing, as was Britny’s white 2002 Dodge-Ram pickup truck.

The next day, police found the vehicle, miles from Edgerton. A local said they’d seen a man driving the truck after it’d been reported missing. It was the same man who was supposedly trying to sell four guns that’d been stolen from Britny’s home…

Britny

Britny

On Sunday 15 July 2012, Clifford D Miller was arrested at his girlfriend’s flat. He didn’t resist. Instead, he chillingly told officers he’d killed Britny and Ashley, and stashed their bodies on farmland belonging to his ex-employer.

The two bodies were found. Devastatingly, the women had been beaten and strangled, their lives snuffed out. And leaving three girls without their mothers.

Miller quickly confessed the heinous details…

The 31-year-old told officers he’d found Britny attractive and wanted to have sex with her. He’d seen her around and had fallen for her.

In the early hours of 13 July 2012, high on methamphetamine, he’d gone to Britny’s house hoping to sleep with her.

Miller admitted getting in through an unlocked door and was surprised to find Ashley asleep on the sofa.

She’d challenged Miller, asking him why he was in the house. Miller told officers he didn’t want her to get him in trouble, so he’d hit her – punching her until she’d stopped moving.

Then, he’d smothered the innocent mum with a pillow. Only, he wasn’t done yet…

After killing Ashley, Miller’s intention to have sex with Britny changed to murder.

Armed with a stick, he entered her room, where her 5-month-old daughter was also sleeping.

He hit Britny on the head and, after a struggle, smothered her to death, too. Miller then tried to sexually assault her, but was unable to.

Afterwards, he moved the baby into a separate room and placed her in a cot with her sister.

Then he smoked more meth before trying to clean up the bloody scene.

Ashley

Ashley

Miller moved Britny and Ashley’s bodies to the truck and drove off with the stolen guns.

After ditching the bodies, Miller went home to shower. He also tried to get a friend to sell the firearms for getaway money.

In April 2013, at Platte County Circuit Court, Clifford Miller admitted two counts of first-degree murder. He said he was high at the time of the gruesome killings. Miller could have faced the death penalty, but it would only have prolonged the family’s agony. So he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

‘Clifford Miller committed two violent and horrific murders; one of them accompanied by sexual deviance that nearly defies comprehension. The fact that he will breathe his last breath in prison is just and appropriate,’ the prosecutor said.

After the tragedy, Britny and Ashley’s family concentrated on bringing up the three daughters.

‘As the girls grow, the question will not be how this happened,’ Britny and Ashley’s father Paul Haarup said. ‘The question will be why, and we won’t have a good answer.’

More than two lives were ruined that day, and the Haarup family will sadly have to live with the consequences of one evil man forever.