Man faces charges in Racine woman's death

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Ted Sullivan
Saturday, February 5, 2011

The man accused of dumping a woman's body in rural Avon Township stabbed her after paying her large sums of money to cover up their affair, according to the criminal complaint.

Keith M. Abbott, 47, Sturtevant, is accused of killing Kristin S. Miller, 33, Racine, who was found dead in western Rock County on Monday in a ravine near Nelson and North Avon Townline roads, a few miles south of Highway 11, according to the criminal complaint.

Abbott was likely in Iowa in the days after he and Miller went missing from Racine County in early January, according to the criminal complaint. Highway 11 runs through Rock County between Racine County and Iowa near where the body was found.

Abbott faces felony charges in Racine County of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. He was ordered held in the Racine County Jail on $1 million cash bond.

According to the criminal complaint:

Abbott is the grandfather of Miller's 2-year-old daughter. Abbot was court appointed to work with his son and Miller when transferring the girl between the two parents.

Abbott and Miller later began having an affair, which led to Miller blackmailing Abbott for money to keep the affair from Abbott's wife.

Abbott and Miller disappeared Jan. 1. Abbott returned home alone two days later, Jan. 3. He was found in the living room covering his face, shaking and crying.

Abbott was taken to the hospital for nervous, uncontrollable spasms. No medical reasons were found for his condition.

At the hospital, Abbott's socks and shoes appeared to have blood on them. An officer also found what appeared to be blood on clothes at Abbott's home and on a blanket in his truck. DNA testing revealed the blood in the truck matched Miller.

Miller's location was unknown at the time, but Abbott's cell phone pinged off a tower in Burlington on Jan. 1. Evidence such as a receipt and a credit card transaction also suggested that Abbott had been in Des Moines, Iowa, and Dubuque, Iowa, on Jan. 2.

On Monday—nearly a month later—Miller's body was found in Rock County, naked and wrapped in two types of plastic. An autopsy revealed the cause of death was stab wounds.

Abbott was arrested Tuesday at his business in Mount Pleasant. Inside the business, investigators found two types of plastic wrap consistent with the plastic found around Miller's body.

Abbott admitted the affair and blackmailing to investigators after his arrest. He said he also wanted what was best for his granddaughter.

Abbott told investigators he didn't remember anything from Jan. 1 until when he was hospitalized two days later.

He is scheduled to appear in Racine County Court for a preliminary hearing Wedesday.

Last updated: 4:24 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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