Board of Directors

Tim Miller – Founder and Director

Tim Miller started Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team was started in August 2000 with the purpose to provide Volunteer Horse Mounted Search and Recovery for Lost and Missing persons.  The team’s existence and purpose is dedicated to the memory of Laura Miller, the daughter of our founding director, Tim Miller. Laura was abducted and murdered in North Galveston County in 1984. Our team is composed of volunteers of various experiences, with many being experienced horse owners.

Texas EquuSearch has been involved in 1,320+ searches in approximately 42 states in the United States, Aruba, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.  Our efforts have proven successful with returning over 300 missing people home to their families safely, many of which would have been deceased.  Texas EquuSearch is responsible for recovering the remains of 140 missing loved ones, bringing closure to many families.  Many of the 118 cases have resulted in criminal cases.  At no time during any of the searches was evidence compromised by Texas EquuSearch.  Therefore, the suspect(s) were brought to justice resulting in convictions.  Additionally, Mr. Miller has been involved in several murder trials.

Our director, Tim Miller, has been featured on CourtTV’s Crime Library “A Profile of Tim Miller and Texas EquuSearch” by Dr. Katherine Ramsland.  Dr. Ramsland has published twenty-seven books and currently teaches forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Katherine Ramsland has written a truly tremendous and comprehensive article on Tim Miller and Texas EquuSearch in addition to a detailed account of Tim, the volunteers and the searches for missing persons in an attempt to provide closure for the many grieving families.  Closure is so very important so at least the healing process can begin.

Additionally, Geraldo At Large, Larry King Live, Fox News National, Greta Van Susteren, CNN, HLN, Nancy Grace, Glenn Beck, People Magazine, News Week, Evidence Technology, Dateline, 20/20, Texas Horse Talk and all the local news stations have all featured the works of Texas EquuSearch and Tim Miller’s experiences in the searches of lost loved ones.

Tim Miller is also the recipient of the “Point of Light” award by George W. Bush.  He received the Jefferson award from the City of Houston, the foundation for the improvement of justice in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, the Texas Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award, the National Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award, Crime Stoppers of Houston and countless other awards from all over the nation.  Mr. Miller was invited by George H.W. Bush, Jr., and attended, the first conference for the National Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, D.C., and also the signing of the National Amber Alert in Washington, D.C.  He has also been the keynote speaker for the national conference for Parents of Murdered Children, along with being a keynote speaker for many law enforcement conferences across the country.  Mr. Miller has received countless other awards from across the nation.

Debbie Drury – Vice Chairman of the Board

A native Houstonian, Ms. Debbie Drury has excelled in the advertising and marketing profession. Ms. Drury is the founder and President of Market Doctors Direct providing valuable marketing services to over 330 enterprises nationwide. Over the years, she has developed a close working relationship with her clients. These business interactions have allowed her the opportunity to interact with many of Houston’s political, business and community leaders as well as many charitable organizations. Market Doctors Direct has contributed to numerous organizations over the past 12 years, including Texas Equusearch where she is passionate and dedicated to see them reach new levels of success.

Ms. Drury is the mother of 2 children, Bailey and Brian Drury, as well as the grandmother of 2 beautiful grandchildren, Jordan and Lexi.  She is currently an active member of Clear Lake Community Church as well as the Vice Chairman of the Board for Texas Equusearch mounted search and recovery team. Her strong faith in God helps her balance her duties to family, community and customers.

Ms. Drury is a member of The National Association of Professional Women and has been recognized as a leader by The Woman’s Business Enterprise Alliance. A mother, grandmother, business owner, employer, business consultant and community leader, this is Ms. Debbie Drury.

 

 

 

 

Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby is an award-winning restaurateur whose upscale eateries are consistently rated by Zagat higher than any steakhouses in Chicago and New York City. After running away from home in New Jersey at an early age, he worked various restaurant jobs to put himself through high school and Cornell University. After graduating he moved to Cincinnati where he eventually oversaw seven Holiday Inns. He opened his first restaurant, The Precinct, in 1981 with the backing of Johnny Bench and Pete Rose, and his second, The Waterfront, with Cris Collinsworth and Boomer Esiason. Today, he owns 7 restaurants in 3 states including Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Carlo & Johnny, The Precinct and Walnut Street Grill. Mr. Ruby actively monitors the status of local and national searches for missing and exploited persons and engages to help facilitate whenever possible.

Dat Tran — Secretary
Associate General Counsel, Unregulated Businesses

Sequent Energy Management and Pivotal Energy Development

Dat Tran was named associate general counsel for AGL Resources’ unregulated businesses in March 2007. Mr. Tran, who joined AGL Resources in August 2003, is responsible for managing and directing the legal affairs of several business divisions, including Sequent Energy Management and Pivotal Energy Development.

Mr. Tran has more than 15 years of legal experience in the energy sector, specializing in commodities trading and marketing, mergers and acquisitions and project development. Prior to joining AGL Resources, he was assistant general counsel at CMS Energy’s energy marketing unit, CMS Marketing Services and Trading. He also has held senior legal and management positions with Duke Energy and Kinder Morgan Inc.

Mr. Tran earned three degrees from the University of Connecticut: a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, a master’s degree in business administration and a Juris Doctor degree.

He resides in Houston with his wife and three children.

Barbara Collins

Barbara originally joined Texas Equusearch Mounted Search Team planning to ride her horses more often… with the added bonus of being able to dedicate time to a much needed community service. While Barbara’s horsemanship skills can be appreciated in the search fields when Texas Equusearch deploys the equine division, it is her business administration skills that prove invaluable to the day-to-day operations of this highly successful search team.

With 25+ years in business management, including 7 years as Office Administrator for a Houston Homeowners Association (Non Profit  501(c)(3)), Barbara is currently employed by  Cadillac Fabrication of Texas LLC.  A lifelong resident of Galveston County, Barbara is married and has three daughters.

Ken DeFoor

  • Graduated from Houston Police Department Academy in April 1958.
  • Retired Captain of the Houston Police Department (HPD) with 27 years of service as a Criminal Investigator, Homicide Detective, Lieutenant of Patrol and Captain/ Division Commander and pilot of HPD’s Helicopter Patrol Division.  Still holds a commercial helicopter rating and an active Texas State Masters Law Enforcement Certification.
  • Former Chief of Police with the Dayton, Texas Police Department.
  • Former executive protection bodyguard for president of a major oil company.
  • Former Chief Deputy, Liberty County Sheriff’s Department (in 2001 and in 2009).
  • Former owner of KEN DEFOOR INVESTIGATIONS.
  • Former Coordinator for Liberty County Office of Emergency Management.
  • TCLEOSE Certified Instructor and Public Speaker.

 Licenses/Affiliations:

  • Reserve Officer, Dayton Police Department.
  • Licensed Through State-Approved Institute of Graphological Science as a Master Graphologist and Questioned Document Examiner.
  • Master Peace Officer License – October 26, 1994.
  • Commercial Helicopter License.
  • First Baptist Church, Dayton.
  • Rotary Club of Dayton.
  • Advisory Director for 100 Club (Liberty County
  • Gideon’s International Association.
  • Texas EquuSearch (Search Coordinator) 

Hobbies & Interests:

Antique cars
Motorcycling
Camping
Treasure hunting
Canoeing

Andy Kahan

Andy currently serves as the Mayor’s Crime Victims Director for the City of Houston, Texas. This one-man office acts as an ombudsman for victims of crime and has been instrumental in enacting victim-related legislation in addition to serving as a resource for victims of crime.

Andy Kahan received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 1983 from the University of Houston and came to work in 1992 as the Director of the Mayor’s Crime Victims Office for the City of Houston. His responsibilities include working with local crime victim’s rights organizations to facilitate the pooling of resources and the exchange of information.  In addition, the office monitors parole and crime statistics, represents victims before the Parole Board, puts crime victims in touch with local crime victims support and advocacy groups and represents the Mayor before various inter-agency crime groups.

Since it’s inception, the Director has had great success in working with the Legislature in support of Victims Rights.  The following listed below are legislation enacted and supported by the office:

  • 1993 Creating a Capitol offense for those who murder a child six year’s and younger.
  • 1993 Reduction in the amount of Parolees released in Harris County.
  • 1995 Abolishment of Mandatory Release of convicted felons.
  • 1995 Promotion of gun safety by making adults criminally responsible for failure to properly store firearms.
  • 1996 Enacted a policy change to allow victims families to witness executions.
  • 1997 “Lori’s Law” Allowing juveniles to be criminally charged with Failure to Stop and Render Aid.
  • 1997 Mandating the Parole Board meet with either the victims or family members before a vote takes place.
  • 1997 Allowing Governmental Agencies the option of providing public information to convicted felons who are incarcerated.
  • 1999 Creation of an enhanced sex offender’s notification to include names, specific numeric address and photographs free of charge.  Direct mailing of the above provided to residents within three blocks of a high- risk offender.
  • 1999 Extended Crime Victims compensation benefits for relocation expenses to victims of domestic violence.
  • 2000 Instrumental in bringing Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) to Harris County.
  • 2001 Spearheaded National Campaign to prevent convicted criminals and their agents from profiting from the sale of “Murderabilia”.  Several states as a result enacted the Notoriety for Profit Law.
  • 2001 Extension of Statute of Limitations on Hit-And-Run fatalities from three years to unlimited, as in other cases of homicide.
  • 2003 Extended Parole Set-offs from a maximum of three years to five years for violent offenders.
  • 2005 Changed the cause of death from “Homicide” to Judicial Order on a death certificate of an executed inmate.
  • 2005 Allows for victim notification on cases found not guilty by reason of insanity.
  • 2006 Initiated policy change within the Texas Department of Public Safety to include deported sex offenders on their public database.
  • 2006 Initiated policy change within MySpace to screen death row inmate web pages.
  • 2008 Enhanced Conspiracy to Solicit Capitol Murder to a 1st Degree Felony
  • 2008 Added Conspiracy to Solicit Capitol Murder to the list of offenses eligible for Termination of Parental Rights
  • 2008 Pre-1980 Homicide Cases will now be eligible to receive Crime Victim Compensation Benefits.

MEDIA AND PUBLICATION

The Mayor’s Crime Victims Office has received national recognition on television and News Shows such as:

CNN, A&E Network, The Paula Zahn Show, ABC’s 20/20/Prime Time,       CBS’s 48 Hours, The Today Show, Court TV, Good Morning America, The Nancy Grace Show, Fox News, America’s Most Wanted, 60 Minutes, People Magazine, The O’Reilly Factor, The John Walsh Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, MSNBC’s The Abram’s Report @ Scarborough Country, Chris Matthews Hardball, The Montel Williams Show

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • 1995 Governor’s Senator Ralph Yarborough Allied Professional Award for Outstanding Leadership by a Service Professional
  • Foundation for Improvement of Justice 1996 National Award Winner for significant contributions to the field of criminal justice
  • National Council of Jewish Women 2003 Hannah G. Solomon Award for enacting social change to improve crime victims rights
  •  2006 Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award from the United States Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) for public policy leadership and innovation that benefits crime victims

 

Share