UPDATE: Body found in St. Joseph River identified

The mother of the man who's body was found in the St. Joseph River confirms that it was her son, Mark Miller.

The 44-year-old Dunlap man had been missing for nearly two weeks. Elkhart County Police found his body Thursday, and called it a "suspicious death."

An autopsy was performed at around 12:30 p.m. Friday and Miller's death has been declared a homicide.

Police say around 4 p.m. Thursday, some workers were clearing debris from the river near the six-span bridge when they came across a 55-gallon barrel.

Neighbors tell NewsCenter 16 the barrel was labeled "chemicals", so the workers looked inside through a small opening.

Frank Lucchese, who lives in a nearby house, was asked by one of the workers to take a look inside the barrel.

"They originally thought someone had dumped a barrel of chemicals into the river," Lucchese said. "They shook the barrel and it felt heavy. So, they opened it up. They grabbed to double-check they were seeing what they thought they were seeing. That is when I called 911."

They called police, who immediately taped off a large portion of the river bank near the intersection of C.R. 17 and S.R. 120.

Police aren't sure how long Miller's body was in the river or how it got there.

Tattoos on Miller's body helped police identify him.

Miller owned a tattoo shop in Elkhart. In 2010, Newscenter 16 featured Miller for his efforts to collect food for a local pantry.

They're continuing to investigate.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WNDU - Channel 16 54516 State Road 933 South Bend, IN 46637 Front Desk: 574-284-3000 Newsroom: 574-284-3016 Email: newscenter16@wndu.com
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 170587016 - wndu.com/a?a=170587016