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Dead or alive? Man asking court to decide

Dead or alive? Man asking court to decide


FINDLAY — Donald Eugene Miller Jr. is a dead man walking.


Miller vanished from his Arcadia rental home around August 1986. He left bewildered relatives and thousands of dollars in unpaid child support, his ex-wife testified.

No one heard from him. Nearly eight years later, his ex-wife asked Hancock County Probate Court to declare him dead, so their children could receive Social Security benefits.

No one testified otherwise and the court agreed: Legally, Miller was dead.

Now Miller has reappeared, and arose last month to contest the death ruling. He asked the same judge, Allan Davis, to "establish that he is in fact not deceased" so he can reclaim his canceled Social Security number.

It may not be so simple.

A probate court can "at any time within a three-year period" withdraw a death ruling with proper evidence, according to the Ohio Revised Code. But the law makes no provision to legally withdraw the ruling after three years.

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