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Friends and family mourn loss of Rockville student

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Published on: Thursday, April 11, 2013

By Donna Broadway

GERMANTOWN – Friends and family say Rockville High School senior Michelle Miller, 17, and Army sergeant and recruiter Adam Arndt, 31, who police say killed Miller before shooting himself on April 7, had a romantic relationship. Miller’s father, Kevin Miller, said she was “a little smitten” with Arndt.  

Police say texts and Facebook messages link Arndt and Miller romantically, though Arndt was married to 21-year-old Kaitlyn Arndt. Her mother, Paula Schum said they seemed to have a solid relationship and were considering starting a family.

Police say on April 6, Arndt and Miller exchanged text messages in which Arndt threatened to commit suicide. Kevin says his daughter left the house around nine p.m. saying she had to help a suicidal friend.  Miller says he called the police after Miller stopped responding to his text messages. On April 7, police arrived say they arrived at Arndt’s Germantown home around 10 a.m. and after forcing entry into the home, found Arndt and Miller shot to death.

Arndt originally from Manitowoc, Wis., joined the army in 2003 and was deployed to Turkey from September 2009 through September 2010. Arndt is a three-time Good Conduct and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal recipient. In January 2011, Arndt began working as a recruiter in Gaithersburg. Arndt had six months remaining on his recruiting assignment.

Schum said Kaitlyn and Adam met when she enlisted in the Army at a recruiting center in Gaithersburg. Army policy forbids recruiters from dating, having any type of personal relationship, or having recruits at their home to avoid influencing a recruit’s decision. It is unclear if the Army knew Kaitlyn and Adam met during her recruitment.

Police say Arndt processed new recruits into the reserve and was assigned to coordinate Miller’s entry. Miller’s father says he never met Arndt though she showed him a picture of Arndt on her phone.

Miller was an honor student taking AP classes at Rockville High School. She played lacrosse and soccer. At the April 10 vigil held at Rockville High School, Miller’s teammates wore neon yellow t-shirts saying “#1 on the field, #1 in our hearts.” Miller planned to use her military pay to help pay for college. According to Rockville High School lacrosse coach, Caitlin Ulmer, Miller wanted to become a therapist focused on helping military personnel struggling after returning from combat duty.

Alice Miller said her granddaughter is a hero because she gave her life to save someone else’s and should be lauded as one.  Arndt’s family said they had no idea he was contemplating suicide and his death comes as a shock. Police have not released a motive in the shooting.

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