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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Close friends of Kathleen Miller are grieving the 60-year-old Huntsville FBI forensic photographer’s unexpected death. A multi-agency law enforcement criminal investigation into Miller’s death is ongoing in North Carolina after she was found dead in the Nantahala National Forest on Monday.

Gail Jones has been friends with Miller since the two were in middle school.

“Kathy was a beautiful person,” said Jones. “She was fun-loving, very smart and very creative.”

Jones tells WHNT News 19 Miller grew up in Geneva, New York and went to college in Rochester.

“She loved photography in high school and studied that in college,” explained Jones.
Miller lived in a quiet Owens Cross Roads neighborhood. Her neighbors tell WHNT News 19 she was always kind and happy.
“She was nice. Talking to her, she would always have a smile on her face, laughing about something,” said a neighbor.

According to the Asheville Citizen Times,  the initial 911 call came in at 5:17 p.m. Monday, when a caller told authorities a woman had fallen in the water in a creek in the Nantahala National Forest.  Miller was pronounced dead at the scene when authorities arrived.

District Attorney Ashley Welch told the Asheville Citizen Times her office was looking into the suspicious circumstances surround Miller’s death. However, the DA declined to say if they had a suspect.

A spokesperson for the Birmingham Field Office of the FBI confirmed that Miller was not on duty at the time of her death.

Miller’s friends tell WHNT News 19 they believe Miller was expected to be back at work in Huntsville on the same day she was found dead. The FBI declined to confirm her work schedule to WHNT News 19.

“She always saw the best in people and was very forgiving,” said Jones.