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School mourns the death of student killed in triple homicide

Arkansas State Police say Ciera Miller was shot and killed Thursday by suspect James Arthur Bowden outside a home on Gum Springs Road near Dardanelle. (KATV PHOTO)

On Friday morning, those who attend Dardanelle High School learned about the passing of fellow student, 17-year-old sophomore, Ciera Miller.

“We are no different than anyone else in the county today, we are mourning the loss of one of our kids,” said Ed Vestal with the Dardanelle School District.

Miller, along with her grandmother, 61-year-old Rita Miller and Yell County Deputy Lt. Kevin Mainheart, were all shot and killed Thursday morning, allegedly by James Arthur Bowden.

“Ciera touched a lot of lives and she will be greatly missed. She was a typical teenager, she liked her friends and she liked her devices. she was a valued member of our family,” said Vestal.

Miller’s classmates learned about her passing during Friday’s morning announcements. The district also read student's this statement:

“We have learned at Dardanelle High School, through tragic experience, that we do better when we pause to remember those we have lost and to, then, go on without routine in sadness but without becoming overly dramatic and maudlin. Our best memorial to those we have lost is to go on with our lives, wiser and stronger because off these good people having passed our way.”

“The news was broken to our kids this morning, the fact that Ciera is no longer with us. It took a lot of kids by surprise,” said Vestal.

The district also tells KATV they are also mourning the loss of Lt. Mainheart, whose son is a freshman at the same school as Miller.

“If you got to see Kevin’s patrol vehicle, he had a Dardanelle Sand Lizard license plate on the front of it and he was a proud Sand Lizard and a proud father of a Sand Lizard and as a family we are just mourning right now,” said Vestal.

Dardanelle School District has made grief counselors available to students.

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