1.5 years after dead body found in barrel, murder suspect will go to trial Monday

A man who was charged with murder six months after his friend was found in a barrel floating down the St. Joseph River is going to trial Monday.

Posted on April 26, 2014 at 10:52 a.m.

GOSHEN — The jury trial for a man who was charged with murder in connection with his business partner's death will begin Monday morning, April 28.

Todd Stewart, 36, of Elkhart, was arrested in May 2013, after the Elkhart County prosecutor's office filed a murder charge against him. If convicted, he faces up to 65 years in prison. 

Stewart is accused of killing his business partner Mark Miller, whose body was found in a barrel floating down the St. Joseph River on Sept. 20, 2012.

According to initial reports, some employees from Ron's Pier Service were removing logs from the river when they saw the barrel, labeled "chemicals."

Miller, 44, was living in Dunlap when he went missing. The last time he was seen by his family was Sept. 7 at his tattoo shop.

After examining the body, forensic pathologist Joseph Prahlow determined Miller died of a gunshot wound. 

Detectives from the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department lead the homicide investigation, interviewing Stewart several times. Deputies also served a search warrant at a home in Bristol in October 2012. 

The sheriff's department forwarded their investigation to the prosecutor's office about six months later

Stewart's trial has been rescheduled a couple times while attorneys prepared for it, but on April 10 Stewart's attorney, Cliff Williams, confirmed with the court that they'd be ready to go to trial. 

The trial is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. with jury selection. 

Recommended for You

Back to top ^