Heartbreaking final image of murdered Emmy Wardle shared by her mum

Mother reveals heartbreaking last photo of teen daughter before she was murdered by a psychotic boyfriend in an LSD and cannabis-fuelled rage – and why it was one of the proudest moments of her life

  • Emerald Wardle murdered in 2020 by boyfriend who thought she was a demon
  • Her mum shared Emmy’s final photo taken three days before she was strangled 
  • Jordan Miller claimed a psychotic disorder caused by temporary effects of LSD
  • He was sentenced to 20 years in jail with non-parole period of 13 years 

The ‘broken’ mother of a teenage girl strangled by her boyfriend in a drug-fuelled psychosis has shared her heart-wrenching final photograph of her tragic daughter.

Tania Simshauser released a picture of Emerald ‘Emmy’ Wardle, 18, taken three days before Jordan Miller brutally murdered her in their NSW Hunter Valley home in a psychotic episode caused by his LSD and cannabis habit.

The candid image shows Ms Wardle proudly beside her car moments after getting her P-plates.

It would be the last day Ms Simhauser would see her ‘best friend’ daughter alive. 

The ‘broken’ mother of a teenage girl strangled by her boyfriend in a drug-fuelled psychosis has shared her heart-breaking final photo (Pictured, Emerald ‘Emmy’ Wardle three days before her death)

Miller violently attacked Ms Wardle, his partner of two years, on June 20, 2020 fearing she was ‘a life-sucking demon’ who had cursed him

Ms Simhauser said her daughter had ‘grown into herself’ in the months before her death and was ‘excited and really happy’ about her life ahead of her.

The mum – who says she is ‘still broken’ by her loss – praised her daughter’s unique spirit, which she said often brought her attention from people of all genders and ages who would ‘stop and look’ at her.

Despite her young age, Ms Wardle had ‘an aura’ about her, said her mum.

Her great-aunt Jeanette Petrie added that quality was Emmy’s inner ‘warmth’, which even outshone her beauty.

The ‘still broken’ mum also praised her daughter’s unique spirit, which often caused people of all genders and ages to ‘stop and look’ at Emmy 

Tania Simshauser (left) regarded her daughter Emmy Wardle (right) as her ‘best friend’ and said she does not believe Miller is remorseful

‘Her physical beauty was the first thing that obviously you see because she‘s just a stunning woman but it certainly took second place because once her warmth radiated in the room, it at least matched the physical,’ Ms Petrie said.

Her killer was sentenced to 20 years in jail this week with a non-parole period of 13 years meaning he could be out in 11 years after time already served. 

Miller, 22, fatally strangled Ms Wardle, his partner of two years, on June 20, 2020 believing she was ‘a life-sucking demon’ who had cursed him.

When police found Miller standing near the gate of a home in Metford, near Maitland, at 1.20am wearing tracksuit pants and no shirt or shoes. 

He ran towards the officers pleading for help. 

Miller told police: ‘If you walk inside and go into the bathroom, it’s in there, the demon. Help me, help me, the demon’s got me, help me.’

Police found Ms Wardle’s body in the ensuite bathroom of the main bedroom.

After his arrest, Miller, a regular cannabis smoker from the age of 14 with no history of mental illness or violence, admitted taking a half tablet of LSD 11 days earlier.

He claimed to have reached spiritual enlightenment but insisted Emerald had been ‘trying to suck the life out of me’.

Miller, who was 20 at the time, admitted strangling Ms Wardle but pleaded not guilty to murdering her, claiming he had been in a psychotic state, did not intend to harm her and could not be held criminally responsible.

A jury deliberated for 12 hours in June after a two-week trial before finding Miller guilty of murder, rejecting his claims the killing had been caused by an underlying form of undiagnosed schizophrenia.

Ms Simhauser said she doubts Miller’s remorse over the killing because he still ‘doesn’t look sorry’, she said.

Ms Wardle’s great aunt Jeanette Petrie said Emmy’s inner ‘warmth’ outshone her considerable beauty

The devastated mother told the NSW Supreme Court in Newcastle: ‘She was not a demon. She was the absolute light of my life.

‘She was an innocent young woman who was born my daughter but became my very best friend. I, however, will forever live with demons in my mind. 

‘As I approach sleep every night I am haunted with demons. 

‘As a mother, I know my baby girl died feeling terrified and alone and that is a demon that will stay with me forever.’

She blasted her daughter’s killer, raging: ‘Emmy is the victim, the innocent young woman who lost her life, her hopes, her dreams, her future because she loved and trusted a monster.

‘Human beings do not kill other human beings. If you can take a human life, you are not human.’

Her great-aunt Jeanette Petrie said Emmy’s inner ‘warmth’ even outshone her beauty

Miller had hidden his drug use from those around him, taking an estimated 30 LSD trips in the years before he developed the psychosis.

Crown prosecutor Lee Carr SC had argued Miller’s use of drugs and the lack of any early signs of a psychotic illness pointed to the killing being drug-induced, meaning Miller was guilty of murder as it had been his choice to use drugs. 

Mr Carr said the attack on Ms Wardle involved ‘significant ferocity’ and Miller was aware he was killing a human being, not a demon.

Defence barrister Peter Krisenthal said Miller was remorseful for what he had done but the killing had not been planned.

Mr Krisenthal said since the murder, Miller had an acute awareness of the dangers of drug use and how they could cause another psychotic episode if he was ever tempted to use them again. 

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