'There is a purpose for Tim Miller': Texas EquuSearch founder reflects on unexpected hospitalization

DICKINSON, Texas (KTRK) -- Tim Miller, the man who has helped lead volunteers in the search for missing persons across southeast Texas, has finally spoken out after being hospitalized due to a serious health condition.

Miller founded Texas EquuSearch in 2000 in honor of his daughter Laura, who was abducted and murdered in 1984. Since then, he and his team have conducted more than 1,800 searches in 42 states and 11 countries. All the cases and searches take a toll.

"I do get emotionally attached," said Miller.

Miller doesn't take a break either. He is committed and is always going, but last month, he was forced to pause.

SEE RELATED: Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller back home after being hospitalized

"It was scary, to say the least. I was having some really big dizzy spells. I thought it was from a neck surgery I had years ago. What was happening is, my arteries were plugged up and blood was not flowing," said Miller.

Miller was suddenly hospitalized and had two procedures. It was especially hard for him because the hospitalization followed two other recent back surgeries.

"I had two big back operations this year that I have far from recovered from, and when I had these heart problems, unfortunately, I'm human. And when I was in that hospital, I was going into a depression I did not want to go into. It was the back and now the heart and it was like, 'Is this the end of the line for me and EquuSearch? Am I going to be able to do this anymore?'" said Miller.

Once the community learned he was in the hospital, the support he had given so many over the years was returned.

"As much as I wanted to keep it private, I think when it came out, and all the support and everything gave me kind of the shot in the arm I need to fight on this one. I need to fight a little bit harder because I'm not done," said Miller.

The 74-year-old was back out on searches just two weeks after he was hospitalized.

"I guess there is a purpose for Tim Miller," he said.

Texas EquuSearch sits hidden behind a busy road in Dickinson. The unassuming building is the headquarters of an organization that's touched lives across the globe.

Some cases are closed and others are still open, including the case of Miller's daughter.

"We don't know what life deals us at times. After Laura's disappearance and body (was) found, I thought that was the end of the world for me, but you know, it started a new world," Miller said. "Something that I never ever thought that I'd be involved in. What we put together over that tragedy, it overwhelms me when I look back at it."

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