A press conference was held Monday where detectives at the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Division announced that they are seeking possible additional victims of a North Hollywood personal trainer suspected of attempted murder and kidnapping charges.
LAPD Lieutenant Alan Hamilton and LAPD Detective Brandy Azarte, both of the North Hollywood Division, answered questions from the media regarding these crimes, and other possible domestic violence crimes they believe Dejon Alan Miller, 35, may have committed in the past. Hamilton said Miller is currently in police custody for the assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping charges he allegedly committed on Dec. 17, 2011.
Miller is associated with several websites that are designed to attract female clients and recruit female fitness models, Azarte said. Miller goes by the name "Danger" Miller in his videos and on the websites e2fit.com and sexyisback.com. According to some of the videos online, Miller's personal training services were only offered to women.
Some women who responded to his advertisements became victims of extreme emotional, sexual and physical abuse he caused, Azarte said.
At the start of the press conference, Captain Justin Eisenberg, a commanding officer at the North Hollywood Division stated, "We're here to talk about an arrest, in a particular gruesome crime that is quite unusual from our experience here in North Hollywood."
Eisenberg added, "What our point is today, is trying to have additional victims come forward who may have been victimized by this individual we believe is a predator."
Hamilton then offered details about Miller's charges from the Dec. 17 incident, and he described that North Hollywood patrol officers responded to an "ADW" (assault with a deadly weapon) call and upon their arrival to the crime scene, "discovered a female suffering from severe facial bruising and lacerations."
Hamilton continued, and stated that when the officers interviewed the victim, she identified the suspect as Miller, and they arrested him.
Azarte acknowledged that Miller is being charged with "attempted murder and kidnapping." Attempted murder was charged because Miller's victim was found "unconscious" and was believed to have nearly died from the injuries sustained in the alleged attack by Miller that night.
Hamilton and Azarte both confirmed that the victim was believed to be in a "romantic relationship" with Miller at the time of the attack, and was stated to be "in her late 20s."
But from North Hollywood Division's continuing investigation, the detectives now "believe there are more victims in the San Fernando Valley area who have fallen victim to Mr. Miller," Hamilton addressed to the public.
"We are requesting information, and we are asking people who have had contact with him in the past to come forward and provide information regarding our current investigation, and potential investigations regarding people that have been recruited to his websites in the past," Hamilton said. "...All the reported incidents, people coming forward, and anyone providing information, will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and they'll be protected as prime witnesses here in the State of California, and we will ensure that a thorough investigation will be done... Mr. Miller is in custody and being held on 1.3 million dollars bail. He's been held to answer on attempted murder and kidnapping charges. We do not anticipate he will be released any time soon. So it's important for the community to know that A: He's not going to be out to search for any additional victims, and B: those people who may be in fear to becoming victims again to Mr. Miller... victimized again by Mr. Miller, you should know that he's in custody and we plan on prosecuting him fully on the current charges, and we're interested in any additional charges we can bring against him in from any prior victim."
Hamilton then stepped aside, and Azarte addressed the reporters.
Azarte stated that Mr. Miller has "a history of domestic violence against several other individuals, different females, at least two of which he met on Craigslist, advertising for fitness models for his two websites."
When Azarte was asked about female victims that had responded to Miller's ads, Azarte stated, "I'm certain of two (female victims) that actually met him through the Craigslist website."
Azarte said that Miller has prior convictions for domestic violence.
"He is currently on formal probation for one domestic violence incident, and on summary probation on a totally separate domestic violence incident," she said.
When asked how many other possible victims could be connected to Miller, Azarte answered, "A minimum of five women that we know of, that have been victims of domestic violence at his hands. We think there could be potentially more victims out there that are either afraid, intimidated, or ashamed to come forward based on the degrading and tortuous things that he would do."
Several times the LAPD detectives mentioned Miller's "unusual" technique for torturing his victims.
"As far as the things he would do to them or force them to do, are things I have not encountered as a detective," Azarte emphasized.
When Azarte was asked about the method of torture that Miller used, Azarte said that she cannot divulge that at this time, "to maintain the integrity of future investigations."
She did acknowledge that this same torture technique was used by Miller on two of the women.
Hamilton gave support to LAPD's reasoning to go public with this case.
"The fact that he is engaged in these relationships over a short period of time, and then victimizes these women, we see a very disconcerting pattern of escalation that has caused us to be concerned," he said.
Although Hamilton again declined to disclose more specifics to Miller's torture methods, he pleaded for other past victims to come forward.
"We want that information to come to us independently from the (other possible past) victims," he said.
When asked if Miller may have made any statements to incriminate himself, Azarte acknowledged that Miller has made "some incriminating statements," but could not specify what he had said.
From speaking to the known victims, Azarte described how Miller was able to control and abuse them: "First thing he would do is isolate them... cause the women to lose confidence... cut them off from friends and family, force them to get rid of their phones, Facebook accounts... almost would make these women dependent on him."
Azarte also said Miller was able to silence the victim's relatives using fear tactics.
"There would be threats to family members if they came forward, threats to [the women] if they came forward, and I think that's why a lot of women stayed, and that could be keeping a lot of women from coming forward at this time," she said.
Azarte described things that Miller would request from the women who responded to his Craigslist ads: "Photographs of them in lingerie or very skimpy clothing."
Although the serial nature of his crimes could be considered "fetishistic," Azarte observed that "it seemed to be more of a punishment for the women as opposed to sexual gratification for himself."
"Fear and intimidation" was definitely a common tactic that Miller used against his victims, said Hamilton and Azarte, but the main points they want publicized, especially to the other possible victims of Miller's, is that Miller is currently in police custody so he cannot harm anyone, and now is a safe time for any past victims to come forward.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to call Azarte at (818) 623-4075 or (818) 623-4065.