Daily Point of Light # 2838 Dec 21, 2004

The Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and recovery Team (TES) was founded by Mr. Timothy (Tim) A. Miller in August 2000 with the purpose to provide volunteer horse mounted search and recovery resources for the search of lost and missing persons.

The TES was started in North Galveston County, Texas because of the high incidence of missing persons in this largely undeveloped area. TES is dedicated to the memory of Laura Miller, a young woman abducted and murdered in 1984 and the daughter of Tim Miller. TES is composed of volunteers of various talents, including experienced horse owners. TES has recruited more than 250+ members over the years, conducting searches locally, statewide, and nationally. TES is a nonprofit and funded solely by donations from team members and the surrounding communities. Mr. Miller receives, infrequently, a small stipend that helps to defray some of his personal TES expenses as its director.

The TES organization is compassionate and dedicated. TES’s fundamental belief is that we can better ourselves by working together to help the community and people in need. Many TES members are trained in various rescue and life saving skills such as CPR, advanced lifesaving skills, aircraft search operations. Members come from all walks of life…business owners, medics, firefighters, housewives, electricians, pilots, and students. Resources range from horse and rider teams to foot searchers, water (divers, boats) air (planes, helicopters), dog teams (air scent, cadaver, and tracking) and ATVs. TES is a professional organization that takes notification of, and the search for, a missing person very seriously.

Much thought was given by Tim Miller to the idea of forming TES. The following words are Tim Miller’s own, and the spirit of the TES mission:

“…I know how important a search and rescue team can be. My daughter, Laura Miller was abducted in September of 1984. I went to the police department to report her missing and file a missing persons report. Five months prior to Laura’s disappearance the remains of a young lady named Heidi Villareal Fye, were found on some property at an abandoned oil field on Calder Road in League City, Texas. I told the police officer taking the report of my concerns, and would they please check the area where she had been found, or tell me where it was located so that I might check myself. Of course they said Laura is sixteen, she ran away and will be coming back home…I found out that Heidi had only lived 4 blocks from our house. So I went back to the police station to tell them my new worries about the close location of our houses and could they go and check the field where Heidi was or please take me to where it was located. Again they said Laura was sixteen and she had run away so we should go home and wait by the phone for her to call. The days turned into weeks, weeks into months…still no Laura. Seventeen months later, kids were riding dirt bikes on Calder Road when they smelled foul odor…it was in fact the remains of a female who had been there approximately two months. The police were called out to investigate, and during the investigation stumbled across the remains of yet another female some sixty feet from the other. These remains of the other girl found were those of my daughter, Laura Miller…These were by far the most frustrating and lonely seventeen months of my life and there was some feeling of relief when Laura was found, at least now we know. I often think of what would have changed back in 1984 when Laura disappeared, if there has been a Texas EquuSearch. Would Laura have been found alive?…Would Jane Doe have been murdered?…We could stay in the what ifs-what if we has search that field, what if we had had a rescue team, but we can also grow from these unfortunate (to say the least) events. Let’s grow way beyond the surrounding communities in helping to change the way we handle missing persons. …Our goal is to grow many times over and serve more and more communities so no family has to experience the feeling of hopelessness and loneliness if a loved one should ever disappear.” – Tim Miller

Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have credited TES with having perhaps the highest ‘find rate’ (about 70% -with nearly 85% of these found alive) of any search and rescue organization in our nation.

In October of 2002, having been invited by The White House, Tim Miller participated in ‘The White House Conference on Missing, Exploited, and Runaway Children’-conferring with President George W. Bush about Texas EquuSearch’s accomplishments.