The woman known as ‘baby Holly’, whose parents were murdered in 1981 but went unidentified for forty years, has broken her silence, revealing she believed they were murdered trying to leave a religious cult.
Holly Miller, 42, only discovered in the summer of 2022 that her biological parents Harold dean Clouse, then 21, and Tina Clouse, then 17, had been murdered in Houston Texas when she was just a baby and that her extended family had been searching for her ever since.
Speaking exclusively to ABC’s David Muir, Miller revealed that she believes the Christ Family cult which her parents joined in the early 80’s were linked to their deaths.
‘I really believe they were trying to leave the cult. That the were leaving when they were murdered. I really believe that’ Miller, now a mother of five herself, told the program.
Holly believes her parents ‘knew too much’ which is why they ended up murdered.
Holly Miller, 42, believes the Christ Family cult which her parents joined in the early 80’s were linked to their deaths
‘Baby Holly’ is no 42 (left) and lives in Oklahoma. She is shown holding up a photo of her parents, taken not long before they were murdered in 1980. Her aunt Cheryl Clouse, right, spoke with DailyMail.com about the family’s emotional reunion and how they now hope to find the cult killers responsible for ripping the family apart
Miller only discovered in the summer of 2022 that her biological parents Harold dean Clouse, then 21, and Tina Clouse, then 17, had been murdered in Houston Texas (scene pictured) when she was just a baby
‘I really feel that they came to a point where they had second thoughts and wanted to get away from the cult and were murdered while doing so.’
The Christ Family religious group was run by charismatic leader Charles McHugh, known as Lightening Amen to his followers, at the time.
McHugh had criminal convictions including for drug charges and was charged with three misdemeanor accounts of molesting a child, one of which he pled guilty to. He died in 2010.
Surviving cult members denied to ABC that the group had anything to do with the murders and no charges have been brought.
Holly’s family, including her grandmother and aunt believe the murder of Dean and Tina were linked to the cult.
The Clouses’ remains were found in January 1981 in a wooded area of Houston, Texas after a local man’s Alsatian picked up a human arm.
Both bodies were found bound with the female victim determined to have died of asphyxiation and the male victim from blunt force trauma to the head.
Investigators believe the location of the bodies and the way they were killed suggests they likely knew their killers.
Harold Dean Clouse and Tina Gail Linn met as teenagers. They got married when Tina was 15 and pregnant with Holly, then moved to Texas before she was one so that Dean could get a better-paying carpenter job. Cheryl says they were both ‘sweet’, kind’ but too trusting of strangers
Holly is shown as a baby, aged 10 months, in one of the last photos that Tina sent to the Clouse family before she was murdered
Dean (top center) was eight when this photo was taken a year after his father died in 1967. Cheryl (bottom left) was a year younger. Their mother Donna (right) raised five of them alone after her husband died from organ failure caused by lupus. She remarried later and had another child
Dean is shown, center, as a teenager. His sister says he took on a protector role after the death of his father and ‘stepped up’ to look after the women in the family before joining a cult when he was 15. He returned home one day after having disappeared for weeks and was ‘barefoot’
The pair remained anonymous until a breakthrough in genetic analysis of the cold case linked Dean to his family in October 2021, helping to identify his wife Tina in the process.
Once the family were informed their loved ones had been found, more than 40 years after they had disappeared they immediately asked if police had any clues as to what happened to the couple’s baby, Holly.
Eventually detectives tacked down Holly who lived in Oklahoma with her family.
Detectives approached Holly at the restaurant she worked in as a waitress on June 7 2022.
Recalling the shocking moment Holly told ABC: ‘I remember thinking “what in the world am I about to get myself into.”‘
Holly said she knew her parents had joined a cult and that they may have died, but detectives told her ‘yes they are dead but they were murdered.’
Detectives handed Holly a photo of her as a baby with her parents which she said ‘means the world, this changed my world this little picture right here.’
‘You can see how happy and loving they are’ she said.
Donna Casasanta, 80, poses in front of a portrait of Holly with her murdered parents
Holly’s parents were killed when she was just one-year-old. She was later adopted into a loving family and lived her entire life not knowing her parents were the victims of a brutal crime
Holly’s extended biological family held out hope that Dean and Tina were alive until last year when they were told otherwise by detectives and law enforcement officers
Holly had never seen a picture of her mother before that moment and said ‘I see my children in them, I see me.’
Holly phoned her adoptive father Philip McGoldrick, a pastor that had adopted her in 1980 after members of the cult approached him at his church in Yuma, Arizona claiming they needed someone to look after a child.
‘I saw women in white robes all the way down to the ground, and white head coverings I asked if I could help them and they said we need someone to take care of a baby’
‘I was thinking who could I give this baby to, then I realized it was me. My wife and I had one daughter and we had been praying for another child.’
‘When I went to the car I saw this baby girl, blonde blue-eyed just like one of my family.
‘The older lady said this is the mother who joined our group to dedicate her life to God, she had very little emotion at that time.’
‘It was a very strange thing to happen, my wife kept asking “are you sure you want to do this”‘ but they became concerned that if they did not agree to take the child she would be taken elsewhere.
Phil contacted a lawyer who put up advertisements in the newspaper saying there was a baby that had been abandoned. The lawyer said that if in six months they don’t come back then they could go through the adoption process.’
‘She was very sweet, she fit in very well with my older daughter they looked like they were made for each other.
‘To me adoption doesn’t make any difference, she was a gift from God.’
Philip and Holly eventually moved from Arizona to near Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Philip said of the moment detectives came to speak to him that he was happy to engage, handing over the birth certificate and thinking he would get some answers for his daughter ‘I didn’t realize until half way through the interview that I was a suspect.’
Authorities do not believe Philip or his wife at the time had anything to do with the murders.
Holly told ABC she feels ‘a lot of hurt’ when thinking about herself being handed over as a baby.
Investigators told Holly on the same day at the diner that her family had gathered and were ready to meet her.
They first met on zoom ‘I could see resemblances from my kids on their faces. My family just grew in a moment’ she said.
‘I could hear in their voices the hurt and pain from not knowing all those years.
‘I knew right then that they truly loved me. I felt complete.’
They were soon reunited face to face: ‘That day I’ll never forget, to hold them to love on them. it was the greatest feeling in the world’ Holly recalled.
At the reunion they showed Holly a baby book compiled by her mother Tina just a month before she was dropped off in Arizona.
‘I can’t fathom that they would want to give me away. I have so many questions’
A small group of people still live within the group in Hemet, California.
Sister Susan, who was part of Christ Family around the same time as Holly’s parents but denies ever meeting them told ABC that nothing surrounding baby Holly’s case was suspicious. Saying she believes ‘some evil demon picked them up and killed them.’
‘I understand why they gave up their baby, everybody did, it didn’t mean we would never see them again. But there was work to do.’
Holly says she thinks of her parents and what they went to ‘every day.’