Sunday, December 21, 2008


A 36-year-old cold case is coming to a close, but that closure is causing very mixed feelings for a Windsor woman.
Wendy McGee was not quite two years old when her father, Sgt. William Donald Miller, was found shot to death in Jacksonville, N.C., on Sept. 16, 1972.
The case was cold for years, until a witness came forward in August with new information that eventually cracked the case.
McGee’s mother, Vickie Miller Hayden Cooper Babbitt, 58, and her former stepfather George Hayden, 57, have since been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
“The whole thing is still sinking in,” McGee said. “When I first found out, I was unable to work for three days.”
She admits that she had an idea several years ago about the circumstances of her father’s death.
“I was finally able to begin meeting members of his family, including daughters he’d had before me, in 1992,” McGee said. “I guess you’d call them half-sisters, but to me they’re just sisters.”
In 1994, McGee received an anonymous letter in the mail detailing circumstances of her father’s death.
“My mom had never wanted to talk about it,” McGee said.
The story has been on the front pages of the Jacksonville Daily News, the local paper, for several months. In addition, Dateline NBC has chosen to feature the family’s story. The piece has been filmed and is going through the editing phase, and will air in January or February 2009.
Babbitt had kept her daughter from meeting most of Miller’s family, and she still hasn’t met all of them.
“I feel very close to the family members I have met,” she said.
“When I was flying to meet my sisters, I was worried because I wouldn’t know what they looked like. They told me, ‘you’ll know.’“And I did.
But while McGee may have a new family, she said the arrests have torn another family apart.
“My half-brother, who is my mom’s son with my former stepfather, and who I grew up with, won’t speak to me,” she said. “I can’t really blame him because these are his parents. “It’s really hard.”
Just this last April, McGee, her husband Dave and daughter Ashley, took a trip to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., to visit her father’s grave. It was the first time McGee had been there since she was eight years old.
“I always wondered about my dad,” she said. “How different would things have been? How different would I be?”
For her father’s sake, McGee is grateful for the turn of events.
“On the one hand, I’m happy to learn my dad will finally have justice,” she said. “But, she’s my mom.”
McGee hasn’t spoken to her mother for several years after learning how her father died.
“This needs to be done,” McGee said. “My dad’s story needs to be told.”


  1. Wendy is/you are a wonderful person. And unfortanetly she/you thinks she youre/is loosing a family , but in fact she/you really have gained a wonderful one. All of you embrace what you have and never forget you have each other because today thats all what truely matters. Stay strong for each other and dont let anyone tare you down because you arent the ones that have done any wrong what soooo ever. Keep up the good work and I hope that you all have a prosperous New Year!!!!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I know the coming year will bring wonderful things. I pray you and your family will be
    blessed also.