The body found Tuesday in the Saint Joseph River has been positively identified as a missing Mishawaka man. 48-year old Thomas Miller disappeared back in November. The Berrien County Coroner conducted an autopsy this afternoon.
Obviously this is not the news the Miller family wanted to hear, but it does bring some closure to all of the questions they've had since he went missing. Miller’s mother says her son was being treated for depression and had been through some ups and downs in the last year.
It's been nearly five months since the family last saw him. On November 7th of last year they reported him missing. Tuesday evening, the South Bend Fire Department Swift Water River Rescue Team made the discovery of the body during a training mission. Michigan State Police say the autopsy shows no signs of foul play. It's unclear exactly how long Miller was in the river.
“Really we don't know when or where he got in the river. The Detective did tell me the watch on the individual was stopped on November 9th, that might be an indication that the watch quit when it went into the water,” says Lt. Mike Brown with the Michigan State Police.
Investigators say an ID on Miller helped them more quickly close this missing persons case. The ID also proved particularly helpful considering the condition of the body. “The wallet was in a pocket of the pants that was on the body, but we couldn't get that until later in the evening because we were preparing the body for removal,” says Brown.
48-year-old Miller worked at the University of Notre Dame's Building Services department. He's survived by his parents, two sisters and a brother.
Mishawaka Police tell us the autopsy couldn't pinpoint an exact cause of death. There were no signs of trauma or foul play. There's also a chance Miller could've fallen in the river.