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NORTH CAROLINA – A north Alabama woman was found dead in a North Carolina forest Monday. The Graham County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Office said Kathleen Polce Miller was found dead Monday in the Nantahala National Forest. The Sheriff’s Office additionally stated Miller worked for the FBI in Huntsville, where she was a forensic photographer. WHNT News 19 reached out to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay Town Saturday for comment on Miller’s death. Town said, “A loss to the DOJ family is always a shock and felt by us all.  Our heartfelt sympathies to family, friends, and all of her colleagues at the FBI.”   A spokesperson for the Birmingham Field Office of the FBI said, “The FBI grieves the loss of our colleague Kathleen Polce Miller and extends condolences to her family and friends.” A spokesperson for the Birmingham Field Office of the FBI also confirmed that Miller was not on duty at the time of her death, and referred WHNT News 19 to the Graham County Sheriff’s Office for further comment on the investigation. Miller lived in Owens Cross Roads. A neighbor described Miller as always being nice. The neighbor said they always saw Miller smiling, laughing, and never unhappy. Another neighbor said every time they saw her she’d wave. “She was nice. Talking to her, she would always have a smile on her face. Laughing about something,” said a neighbor.
The Sheriff’s Office said the death was being investigated from “a criminal standpoint.” The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation told the Asheville Citizen Times they were called for assistance on Tuesday. The initial 911 call reportedly came in at 5:17 p.m. Monday, when a caller told authorities a woman had fallen in the water. The United States Forest Service told the Citizen Times the Graham County Sheriff’s Office and EMS responded, pronouncing Miller dead at the scene. The area where Miller was found is in extreme western North Carolina, bordering Tennessee. The Graham County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, United States Forest Service, and the Graham County District Attorney’s office are all investigating.