The Boise County Coroner’s Office might have to wait three to four weeks for toxicology reports before it can confirm the cause of death for Mark David Levi Miller, 47, Chief Deputy Coroner Mike Johnson said Monday.
Miller’s body was found in Arrowrock Reservoir on Sunday, ending the search for the Boise man suspected in a June 7 arson in Southeast Boise’s Columbia Village.
Boise police allege that Miller started a garage fire in a house on the 4400 block of East Flores Court. Dispatchers received calls that night from neighbors reporting a man inside the burning home. However, when fire crews arrived they found no one inside. Crews extinguished flames in the garage and the bedroom on the second level of the house in about 15 minutes.
Investigators deemed the fire suspicious and announced on Wednesday that a warrant had been issued for Miller, the only resident of the house who was home the night of the fire, according to police. The notice offered a $1,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest and stated Miller might be driving a 2013 black Dodge truck.
Paddleboarders spotted the truck in Arrowrock on Sunday afternoon, leading emergency personnel to discover Miller’s body, said Chief Deputy Dale Rogers with the Boise County Sheriff’s Office.
The body had been there for more than a week, Rogers said. Boise County deputies, emergency personnel and a dive team used a tow cable to pull out the truck.
“It’s all up for speculation,” Rogers said of the cause of the crash. “Tracks didn’t show braking marks going off the road, but he had suicidal tendencies that we know about so that suspicion wouldn’t be out of the question.”
Medication was found in the vehicle, but it is uncertain whether Miller was taking it at the time of the crash, Rogers said.
Miller becomes the 10th person to have died since 2009 after running off Arrowrock Road, which narrows into a windy, rutted dirt road about 5 miles east of Idaho 21. His body was found less than a mile east of the site where a car went off the road and into the reservoir in May 2014, resulting in the eventual death of 2-year-old Riley Lutton of Mountain Home. Most recently, a Boise couple, Isaac and Jenny Hunter, died on Valentine’s Day this year when their car plunged into Arrowrock Reservoir.
A Statesman investigation last fall found that driver error — intoxication, distracted driving, speeding and other factors — accounted for almost all of the crashes in that time.
It wasn’t clear Monday whether the damage to the East Flores Court house was severe enough to displace other residents.
“There are other people living in the home who were victimized by this incident and who will be affected as the investigation continues at this time,” said Lynn Hightower, spokeswoman for the Boise Police Department.
iNCARCERATION FOR DUI WAS PENDING
The house fire occurred two days before Miller was scheduled to meet with a probation officer to discuss how to serve nine days of jail time stemming from a misdemeanor driving under the influence conviction.
According to online court records, Miller was charged on Feb. 24 with the DUI and a misdemeanor count of injury to a child. He pleaded guilty to both charges on June 3, receiving one year of probation for the injury to a child and 10 days of jail time for the DUI. The judge also granted Miller a withheld judgment for the DUI, court records state, meaning it could have been removed from his record later with good behavior.
When he was sentenced, Miller was given the option to serve his jail time through community service, inmate labor or through work release. Miller contacted the probation department and was asked to return on June 9 to discuss how he wished to carry out his nine days of service. He was credited for a day he spent in jail at the time he was originally arrested, said Patrick Orr, a spokesman for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.
A probation officer called Miller on June 8 to remind him of his appointment the following day. The worker was unable to reach Miller and left a message on his phone, Orr said.
Miller did not show for the appointment, prompting another call from a probation office employee. Miller again did not answer his phone and the employee left another message.
On June 10, Orr said, the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Miller in the arson case, carrying a $250,000 bond.