Terre Haute man arrested in murder of homeless man
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (Oct. 3, 2014)—Police have made an arrest in the murder of a 50-year-old homeless man, whose body was discovered floating in the Wabash River in early June.
Jay Millen, 54, was arrested late Thursday on charges of murder, abuse of a corpse, obstruction of justice, false informing, possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.
Authorities have been investigating for four months the homicide of Michael Pollack, after an autopsy revealed he died from blunt force trauma. Police said the condition of Pollack’s body initially made it difficult to identify him. Fingerprint technology later identified Pollack, who was identified by locals to be a homeless man.
Detectives spent several weeks canvassing surveillance video from downtown Terre Haute businesses in order to track Pollack’s whereabouts the day he was last seen.
“It was old fashion door-to-door police work aided by the latest in video technology, that led to more than one break in the case”, said Chief Deputy Clark Cottom of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office.
Security video from the Dollar General on Poplar St. revealed Pollack met Millen, who denied knowing the victim, several days before the alleged murder. Another video obtained by police provided the break detectives needed. Police said Pollack was seen on the June 3 security footage walking in a wooded area between Ohio and Cherry streets, an area where Millen camped.
Detectives said the two men argued at the campsite late on the night of June 3, and a physical altercation ensued, leading to the death of Millen.
Divers searched a two-mile area of the Wabash River in an attempt to find evidence. Authorities found a small hand ax that Millen later admitted to be his, said police.
Millen is currently being held in the Vigo County Jail.