Johnie L. Fingerprints found on a box of cake mix and a can of frosting prompted police to arrest well-known French Quarter human statue "Uncle Louie" last week in the fatal shooting of a Jacksonville, Florida, man 43 years ago, according to authorities. The street performer, whose real name is Johnie Lewis Miller, 60, remained behind bars in New Orleans' jail Monday, nearly a week after local police picked him up on an out-of-state warrant accusing him of murder and attempted armed robbery in connection with the May 22, , slaying of year-old Freddie Farah, a father of four, inside the man's Jacksonville grocery store.
Authorities in Jacksonville have still not publicly acknowledged the arrest of Miller, who is facing an extradition hearing tentatively set for next month in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. But an account from the New Orleans Police Department explains how authorities in two states teamed up to arrest Miller, whose Uncle Sam-like costume has long been a fixture in the French Quarter. According to the account, Jacksonville cold-case investigators late last year decided to revisit Farah's murder case, which had never resulted in any arrests or even the identification of a suspect.
Can't see the video below? Click here. It appeared that the most useful evidence investigators had recovered was so-called latent fingerprints left on a box of cake mix and a can of frosting that the killer had placed near the cash register of Farah's store, according to the account. As it had done before, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office ran that evidence through a fingerprint database. This time, they got a hit: The database indicated that prints lifted from the can and box belonged to Miller, the police account said.
Investigators also recovered a partial palm print from a soft drink can left on Farah's store's counter. But Miller did not have palm prints on file with any local, state or national agency, the police account said. Jacksonville investigators later asked NOPD Detective Ryan Aucoin for help in obtaining permission to get complete finger and palm prints for Miller, who previously lived in Jacksonville but has been a highly visible presence in the French Quarter for more than two decades. On May 16, New Orleans police jailed Miller on a warrant signed by a Jacksonville judge, and he is being held without bail.
Miller's arrest sent shock waves through the French Quarter, where countless tourists have posed for pictures with him while he was frozen mid-step and pretending to walk a miniature stuffed dog dubbed Little Willie.
Alex Osborn, a fellow street performer who admires Miller as an artist and considers him a friend, said Monday, "If the allegation is true, then I hope for justice, as far down the road as it is.
But the natural reaction is if your friend is accused of something horrible, of course you don't want it to be true. Farah's relatives have declined to comment on Miller's capture. One of his children said they have been asked to wait until the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announces the arrest before speaking out on the case. However, an organization in Jacksonville that last month used its website to call attention to Farah's killing lauded authorities' work. After being told at gunpoint that his store was being held up, Farah tried to swat the weapon out of his attacker's grip as he moved away, the documents said.
Farah soon died from a gunshot wound to the head, and the killer immediately fled, police said, citing an eyewitness. Farah's survivors included his wife, three daughters and a son. The children were all young at the time. Edit Close. Toggle navigation. Close 1 of 4. Fred Farah.
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