Tragedy struck Murphysboro overnight on Thanksgiving


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. - A peaceful Thanksgiving day ended up with a woman badly beaten and hospitalized and a man dead by his own hand after police say he locked himself inside his home and blew it up while officers stood in the yard.

It happened overnight in Murphysboro, Illinois at 1608 Oak Street, in a normally quiet neighborhood.

The neighborhood looks like the picture perfect place to spend Thanksgiving.

There are old houses with big porches, and crunchy, fall leaves line the cobblestone streets.

This year, Oak Street was lined with crime scene tape.

Nick Woods was in from Kansas City visiting his family for the holidays.

Just as he was about to fall asleep.

"I heard a lot of racket like pounding, it sounded like something hitting wood or something like that then I heard her running down the street a few minutes later screaming help me, help me," said Woods.

He ran outside and found a woman badly beaten.

He helped her to safety while signaling another neighbor to call 911.

Investigators tell us she had been struck with some type of hammer by Thomas Allan Miller.

When police came to question him, he threatened to blow his house up.

Then, he did; by intentionally causing a gas leak.

For Woods, it has been a Thanksgiving unlike any other.

"It's been an emotional one and not in the way that I expected, that's for sure," said Woods.

He says he is just happy he heard the woman's screams.

Police have told us that Thomas Allan Miller's autopsy is being performed Friday.