Women say dead homeless man is Olympic swimmer's dad

Posted at 5:56 PM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 20:56:31-04

Two local women said they made a major discovery about a homeless man who died last Christmas -- a link to an Olympian.

Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey were walking down Ocean Beach's Santa Monica Avenue on Christmas morning when a homeless man flagged them down.

"He kept repeating that 'my friend's dead, my friend's dead,' and that nobody was helping them," Sanchez said.

They found a man's body in an alcove that leads to an office building near Cable Street.

The women did more than just help; they're also writers, and they wanted to know who the person was. They set out to discover a man they say is named Craig Miller.

The women published articles in two local newspapers and online. They included their contact information, and were inundated with phone calls and emails.

Sanchez and Rey received a tip from a fellow homeless person that Miller often went to the library to track his children's swimming careers.

Sanchez and Rey did the same, and they learned Miller's son wasn't just any swimmer -- he's Cody Miller, a newly crowned Olympic swimmer on Team USA.

Unfortunately, it's too late for his dad to know.

"I think he'd be very proud," Sanchez said.

Efforts to reach Cody Miller weren't immediately successful.

Sanchez and Rey plan to publish a book about the experience to help humanize the thousands of San Diegans who, like Craig Miller, have nowhere to sleep but on the streets.