Miller in custody, charged with kidnapping

by Tom Coombe

A 29-year-old Ely man sought in connection with the disappearance of an Embarrass resident turned himself in last week and faces felony kidnapping charges.<BR><BR>Frank Alan Miller was apprehended Monday in Virginia when he appeared in court for an unrelated charge.<BR><BR>According to a complaint filed in St. Louis County District Court, Miller and 28-year-old Jason Anderson of Eveleth kidnapped Travis Joseph Holappa outside a Gilbert bar July 24.<BR><BR>Holappa, 25, hasn’t been heard from since and authorities suspect that he is dead.<BR><BR>Miller, who has a criminal record that includes several drug convictions and who just a month prior to the disappearance led Ely and Babbitt police on a high-speed chase that ended outside of Embarrass, is being held in the St. Louis County lockup on $1 million bail.<BR><BR>Charges filed last week shed further light on a case that law enforcement officials have worked on since July 25, when Holappa was reported missing by his sister.<BR><BR>Anderson, who was arrested July 27, told police that Holappa owed Miller over $10,000 for drugs and that Miller sought the money.<BR><BR>Witnesses say they saw both Miller and Anderson beat Holappa with their hands, feet and a vehicle fan belt at two separate locations.<BR><BR>At one point during the beating, Holappa apparently was able to run away but was caught after Miller chased him in a vehicle.<BR><BR>Anderson said Holappa was placed in the trunk of a car at gunpoint and tape was allegedly placed around Holappa’s legs, head and hands.<BR><BR>Authorities found wadded-up duct tape, a belt, a broken watch and blood in the trunk of a 1992 Mitsubishi Diamante.<BR><BR>One witness told police that he believed Holappa had been killed, and that Miller and Anderson bragged about “taking Holappa down gangster style.”<BR><BR>