Missing man found dead in Millcreek backyard

Posted at 8:18 AM, Jan 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-02 23:40:36-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — A man who disappeared in freezing temperatures on New Year's Day was found dead in the backyard of a Millcreek home Saturday, police said.

Mark Allen Miller, 62, was last seen around 8 p.m. Friday at his rental house at 3619 South 900 East, and Saturday afternoon Unified Police Department personnel confirmed the man had been found in the backyard of a home in Millcreek near 3600 South Christine Street. The two locations are only a few blocks apart.

"The weather is definitely going to be a contributing factor in this, it was very cold last night," said Detective Jared Richardson of the Unified Police Department.

According to roommates, Miller had fallen and hit his head. He went outside for some fresh air, but never returned.

"We were told that he left with only a T-shirt, a pair of jeans and maybe some slippers," Richardson said. "Temperatures last night were down in the teens, even single digits."

Around 8:40 p.m. Miller was caught on surveillance camera, walking through the parking lot of the Granite Credit Union. More than 50 people scoured the neighborhood looking for him. His body was eventually discovered around 1:30 pm Saturday.

"I can only imagine how horrible that must of been," said roommate Corey Lundon.

According to roommates, Miller had a major alcohol problem, which they believe led to his decision to leave the house and not come back.

"He had a positive outlook but it was the alcohol that was consuming him, that was the biggest thing," said roommate LeRoy Lancaster.

Lancaster said Miller was trying to quit drinking, but he relapsed right before his death.

"I had got him off of drinking for about four days, this was last week, and then I went down to check on him went I got home from work and I said, 'your room really doesn't seem right it smells awful,"' said Lancaster. "There was five bottles of vodka, empty bottles, so you know he had obviously been drinking again."

Miller's roommates say he will be missed around the house and his absence leaves them wishing they could have done more.

"If he didn't have that craving, he'd still be here," Lancaster said.

The official cause of death is still under investigation.

According to police, Miller was at one time in law enforcement in California, before he retired. He leaves behind a son and an ex-wife.