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Pizza Hut note, husband's writing found similar

FBI analysis of handwriting samples from Richard J. Miller Jr. found a likely match with a note found inside a Brandon Pizza Hut where Miller's wife and the store manager were slain last year.

The report stops short of positively identifying Miller as the writer of the bizarre note found on Pizza Hut manager Steven Snow's head. But it does say there is a strong likelihood that Miller wrote the note and that "the possibility of another writer is unlikely."

Investigative files say the note read: "If Carlos Lehder is not released from jail I will keep killing til he's out. Front of Colombia Liberation. Viva Carlos Lehder."

An FBI profile of the killer, who shot both victims at close range with a .45-caliber handgun, says the note was left to confuse investigators.

Karen Cox, the assistant state attorney who will try the as-yet unscheduled case, called the findings "evidence that's helpful to the state" and said she would put an FBI handwriting analyst on the stand during the trial.

The slayings occurred in late May 1992. Miller, 26, was arrested on Feb. 24, 1993, after a nine-month investigation.

The state's case so far seems to center on circumstantial evidence. Sheriff's investigators say Miller left at least two incriminating personal items at the murder scene _ a pen and a cigarette lighter.

"Those items have been scientifically proven to be in close proximity to the victims at the time the shots were fired," said Sgt. John Marsicano, lead investigator on the case.

Investigators have not explained how a bloody thumbprint, which does not match Miller's, came to be on the murder scene note, nor the origin of a bloody shoe print, which has not been connected to Miller.

Miller is being held without bail at the Hillsborough County Jail.