The man who discovered the decomposed body of a Georgia father of five and called 911 said he detected a “rotting, dead-animal stench” as he drove by a Louisiana neighborhood — and was shocked to see feet sticking out of a rug.
Nathan Millard, 42, was dumped in a vacant lot in Baton Rouge, wrapped in plastic and rolled up in a carpet, after he reportedly died of an accidental overdose.
Police do not suspect foul play, but the official cause of death is pending the completion of a full autopsy and investigators are trying to determine how Millard’s body ended up at the location.
The motorist described how he made the gruesome discovery, telling Unfiltered with Kiran on condition of anonymity that he noticed a strange smell while driving about 3 a.m. Monday.
The driver’s identity was verified by EquuSearch, a Texas-based nonprofit group that worked with Baton Rouge police on the mysterious case, according to the outlet.
He said he rolled down his window and was overcome by a powerful odor.
“It’s just something I don’t think I can ever forget,” the man told the news outlet. “It smelled like something was bad or something was rotting. At first, I thought it was a dead animal, but I didn’t see anything.”
The man said he got out of his vehicle to investigate and poked around with a flashlight, which illuminated a carpet.
“At first I thought it was someone throwing out food, and then I saw the feet. That’s when I got really scared and my stomach was just turning in knots,” he said.
“I was really terrified because I’ve never, ever seen or found a deceased person,” the driver told UWK.
“I was pretty much terrified because I didn’t know what happened.”
Millard’s family has said investigators told them that he likely died of an overdose.
Police Capt. Kevin Heinz told reporters that investigators believe Millard died at another location and that someone moved his body to the lot.
“There doesn’t appear to be any foul play at this point,” he said this week. “I know that he was placed there, obviously by another individual. We’d like to know who and why.”
Millard, who traveled to Baton Rouge to stake out a prospective gig for his construction company, had gone to a Louisiana State University basketball game and Happy’s Irish Pub with a client the night of Feb. 22.
He left the pub alone around 11:30 p.m. after being cut off for allegedly having too much to drink and headed back to his nearby hotel — but was not heard from the next morning.
On Tuesday, police said Millard went to a Greyhound bus station about an hour after leaving the bar. A security guard there offered to call him a ride or call police, but he declined.
Meanwhile, new surveillance video captured him walking with a mystery man, who keeps falling over, in the hours leading up to his disappearance.
The encounter reportedly occurred before Millard refused help from the security guard.
Millard is survived by his wife, Amber, their 7-year-old daughter, two teenage sons from a previous marriage and two teenage stepsons.
Amber said she last spoke with him when he FaceTimed her to show her the seats he and his client secured for the hoops game.
“It was not anything I ever thought would be my last call,” she said.