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Adrienne Miranda's pursuit for justice

A mother vows to get justice for her son's murder

By Marc HooverPublished 4 years ago 5 min read
Adrienne Miranda and her son Joseph Miranda

Is there anything more special than the bond between a mother and her child? I don’t think so. There just seems to be a natural bond we have with our mothers. Even today, whenever I visit my mother, she always has the coffee ready and constantly asks me if I am hungry. I love my mother. She means everything to me.

My mother used to tell me she could live without a husband or any material goods, but she couldn’t live without her three sons. She often tells me she would never want to outlive us. Until I became a parent, I never understood the sentiment.

This week, for my Catch my Killer podcast (, I spoke to a broken-hearted mother with a horrific story. Her name is Adrienne Miranda.

It’s likely you have seen her story on Dateline or listened to her pleas for justice on a true crime podcast.

If you don’t know her story, I will share it with you. It’s a story involving a mother, her son, and her pursuit to see the man who killed her son get prosecuted and sent to prison. Since 2006, she has suffered an unbearable pain. It was the year she lost her cherished son forever. Joseph was a 19-year-old man with dreams of attending college to become a landscape architect.

A son fails to return home

Before starting college, he worked for a landscaping company called Outside Unlimited to get some working experience. On July 20, 2006, Joseph had left for work as usual. He usually returned home around 6 p.m. However, after returning home, Adrienne noticed Joseph wasn’t there.

Adrienne said she didn’t worry because she assumed he had worked late or visited with friends. Unknown to Adrienne, she would never see her youngest son again.

Around 11 p.m., she received a call from her ex-husband Bob. He told Adrienne that their son had died at work around 4p.m. It only took a few words to shatter a mother’s life forever.

She fell to the ground and was inconsolable. Instead of helping her son prepare for college, she would instead plan his funeral. I am assuming Joseph’s parents probably thought their son had died in a work-related accident. This would not be true.

They would soon travel an endless road of frustration and engage in an unsuccessful legal battle with the Maryland State Police. Adrienne said she thought the police and local prosecutor would champion her cause and seek justice for Joseph. Little did she know, this isn’t what occurred.

Joseph’s death was originally ruled an accident. However, after looking deeper into her son’s death, Adrienne realized her son’s death wasn’t accidental. He was lying face down underneath a Bobcat machine with his hands at his side. The Bobcat had crushed him to death. Adrienne has shared Joseph’s last moments with the NBC program called Dateline and several podcasts.

No prosecution in sight

Based on depositions, police reports, the coroner’s report, and mountains of other documents, here is what Adrienne said happened: Joseph needed to use a Bobcat to load trees for a school landscape project. His supervisor asked him to approach two co-workers who were using a Bobcat to move dirt. Joseph engaged in a conversation with the driver and let him know he needed the Bobcat. The driver obliged. He just wanted to finish moving one last load of dirt. Joseph agreed and then walked over to the other co-worker, who worked as a spotter for the driver.

Apparently, the other co-worker had an issue with Joseph. Based on police reports, this co-worker originally told police he pushed Joseph. In a later deposition, the co-worker said he gave Joseph the old “One-two.” If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s another way of saying he punched Joseph with one fist and then punched him with the other one. The medical examiner later changed Joseph’s death from accidental to a homicide by assault.

After Joseph was struck, he fell underneath the Bobcat and was killed instantly. Adrienne thought her son’s death was an open and shut case. She had the backing of the medical examiner who ruled her son’s death a homicide. She also has documentation where Joseph’s co-worker admitted to striking him. Law enforcement has claimed Joseph tried to jump into the Bobcat and died after falling from it.

However, science doesn’t support this and neither does the medical examiner or the Bobcat driver who accidentally backed over Joseph. The driver said Joseph never tried to jump onto the Bobcat. Why would there be an issue when the driver agreed to give the Bobcat to Joseph after one last movement of dirt?

July 20, 2020, will be the 14-year-anniversary of Joseph Miranda’s murder. Adrienne Miranda used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documentation involving her son’s death. Unfortunately, her county’s prosecutor won’t prosecute the killer for reasons unknown to her. Adrienne has a petition trying to get the prosecutor to take action on this case. Adrienne has asked me to share her son’s story and share Joseph Miranda’s voice.

If Joseph were your son, wouldn’t you also pursue justice for him? If your son or daughter made it safely home tonight, give them a hug and tell them how much you love them. Just remember that Joseph Miranda’s story could one day also become your son or daughter’s story.

Please visit Adrienne’s Facebook page dedicated to her son at:


About the Creator

Marc Hoover

Marc Hoover is a Hooper award winning columnist for the Clermont Sun newspaper in Ohio. Contact him at [email protected]. Marc also has a podcast called Catch my Killer.

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