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Police: Nathan Millard's death blamed on overdose; drug dealer kept body in his car for days
BATON ROUGE - A man linked to Nathan Millard's disappearance was booked on additional charges after police determined that he was responsible for crudely disposing of the tourist's body after he died from what is believed to have been a drug overdose.
Derrick Perkins, 45, was booked on several new charges Monday, though none of them suggest that police believe he killed Millard. The Baton Rouge Police Department said in a news release that Perkins dumped the body, which was found wrapped in a rug in an empty lot off Scenic Highway.
Millard was reported missing in late February after a night in which he attended an LSU basketball game and is believed to have been drinking and walking around the downtown area.
Millard was spotted on surveillance cameras in the early morning hours of Feb. 23, in and around the downtown area as well as the ATM at the Greyhound bus station on Florida Boulevard.
Newly released police documents say Millard refused help from a security guard at the bus station, with him allegedly telling the worker he was looking for "something to make him feel better" and "a girl to take back to his room."
The documents go on to say an unidentified man introduced Millard to a prostitute and another man who helped him flag down Perkins, a "known drug dealer" who goes by the name "Stanka," for a ride to a property where they could do drugs.
The man and woman later told police that Perkins and Millard took off in the car and left them behind after the four stopped at a Circle K on Nicholson Drive. Police corroborated their story by checking surveillance recordings, adding that this was the last time Millard was seen alive, at roughly 4:20 a.m. Feb. 23.
Several people questioned by police reported that Millard later suffered an accidental drug overdose at a house on Washington Street/Lorri Burgess Avenue, just off Highland Road.
Perkins is then accused of wrapping Millard's body and putting it in the trunk of his car, a blue Toyota sedan, and leaving it there for up to four days until the "odor got too bad," police wrote in investigative documents.
Millard's body was found rolled in a rug on March 6. Surveillance cameras also caught Perkins' vehicle driving past the lot where the body was dumped roughly 24 hours before it was discovered by a passerby.
Police also noted that Perkins put his phone in airplane mode — which cuts off the device's access to the cell network — in an apparent effort to hide his location from law enforcement the same day that Millard's body was found.
Perkins was booked Monday for unlawful disposal of remains, obstruction of justice, simple criminal damage to property and failure to seek assistance. He also faces counts for illegally using Millard's debit card after his death.
A BRPD spokesman said the car that Perkins had been driving was found torched last week. Despite the car being burned, police said a K9 was still able to detect the scent of "human decomposition" in the trunk.
During a search of the home where Millard reportedly died, which is owned by Perkins, police found a roll of plastic sheeting consistent with the material used to wrap the rug containing Millard's body.
There was no sign of violence on Millard's body, according to a preliminary autopsy report. An official cause of death determination is pending a toxicology report at the coroner's office.
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