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Sections of harsh N.C. obituary plagiarized

After airing the story of a scathing Murphy, N.C. obituary on NewsChannel 9, a viewer alerted us that parts of the obit had sparked controversy before. (Image: Robert Miller, Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum)

Shocking sections from a scathing Murphy, North Carolina obituary were plagiarized.

"When I first read it, I had a weird suspicion that it didn't sound like her," said Robert Miller, June Miller's son.

Miller says he didn't write the obituary about his mother. He says his sister did.

The publisher of the Cherokee Scout still won't confirm that information with us.

"Unbelievable. [She] doesn't even have the integrity to write something for herself - just goes out and steals something," said Miller about his sister.

After airing the story Monday on NewsChannel 9, a viewer alerted us that parts of the obit had sparked controversy before.

So, we began to track it down and it didn't take long before we found those allegations to be true.

In 2008, the obituary for Dolores Aguilar ran in the Vallejo Times Herald in California.

During that time, Ted Vollmer was the editor of that paper.

"I had edited probably thousands of obituaries up to that point and had written a lot myself and when this one came in, my eyebrows shot up," Vollmer said.

There are many similarities between Aguilar and Miller's obituaries.

One line reads: There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. There are many other similar lines.

Vollmer said he questioned the words in the obit right away, and asked Dolores' daughter to provide something to show the words written were true.

"I asked her for a copy of the death certificate or some proof of who she was," added Vollmer.

In June's case, it doesn't sound like this type of verification ever happened from the publisher at the Scout.

Publisher David Brown told NewsChannel 9 they haven't pulled the obituary yet from the paper or from their online site, but it's something they're definitely considering.

Vollmer said he allowed Dolores' granddaughter to add a new obituary because she didn't see her grandmother in that way.

We're told that's going to happen in the Cherokee Scout, too. Robert Miller told NewsChannel 9 he sent a new obit to the publisher Thursday morning and wasn't charged to publish it.

You can read the original obituary for Dolores Aguilar from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum here:


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