Terre Haute man charged in killing of homeless man; headless body was found in Wabash River



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TERRE HAUTE, Indiana — A western Indiana man was charged with murder Friday in the killing of a fellow homeless man whose headless body was found in the Wabash River in June.

Jay E. Millen, 54, was ordered held without bond on charges that also include abuse of a corpse. He appeared through a video link from jail before a Vigo County judge, who set a trial for March 30 and appointed a public defender.

Investigators allege that Millen killed 50-year-old Michael Pollack, then decapitated and disemboweled his body using a hatchet, according to probable cause affidavit. Pollack's body was found by two fishermen in the Wabash River on June 8, the Tribune-Star reported.

Millen was taken into custody a month later, for a probation violation in another case, after two people told police Millen had given them a knife to hold for him because he was under investigation in the Pollack case. Those individuals also said Millen told them Pollack was "decapitated and gutted," according to the affidavit.

Court records indicate Millen acknowledged having contact with Pollack, whom he said gave him his food-stamp card and asked him to get him a drink. Millen told officers he never saw Pollack again. A message seeking comment on Millen's case was left Friday with the local public defenders' office.

A Vigo County Jail inmate told investigators on July 30 that Millen told him he had picked up a rock during an argument with Pollack and drove the rock into Pollack's nose, fatally injuring him, according to court documents. Pollack was last seen at a discount store in Terre Haute on June 3, WTHI-TV reported.

During the investigation, police found Millen at a tent site where Pollack had been living. Millen allegedly told officers he didn't know Pollack, but had heard about his death, the affidavit states.

Police allege that Millen used Pollack's food stamp debit card June 1 at a local store, while June 3 video footage shows Pollack walking to Millen's riverside camp.


Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com

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