An Omaha man whose body was found in the Missouri River died doing what he loved, his father said.
Mark A. Miller, 43, was supposed to be boating and camping for two days near Nebraska City starting Oct. 2, said his father, Dave Miller of Council Bluffs.
When the neighbor's boat he had borrowed turned up empty two days later in Fremont County on the Iowa side of the river, authorities in both states began a search.
“Mark liked to get away and spend time on the river,” his father said Tuesday. “He would go upriver and then float back down at 2 or 3 in the morning. He really loved that.”
Mark Miller's body was found Oct. 27 on the Nebraska side of the river near Peru. His identity was confirmed Monday by the Nemaha County Sheriff's Office.
County Attorney Louie Ligouri said that he had not yet seen the autopsy results but that Miller was presumed to have drowned.
“It was a long waiting game while they identified him,” Dave Miller said. “The sheriff said they're not sure what happened, but there were no signs of foul play. He said it was just an accident.”
No funeral services are planned.
Besides his father, Miller is survived by his mother, Linda Eaton of Omaha; sister, Michelle Bailey of Sedalia, Mo.; and longtime partner Deborah Aurora of Omaha.
“He was a good son,” Eaton said. “Mark was the type of man who went out of his way for others without expecting anything in return.”
Mark Miller grew up in La Vista and graduated from Papillion-La Vista High School, his father said. He and his dad enjoyed working on cars together and attending auto shows.
The son learned carpentry after high school while working for a company that makes cabinets. When the company went out of business, Miller began building custom cabinets on his own.
“He was really good at what he did,” his father said. “He worked out of his garage.”
Each of the past three years, Miller and Aurora spent the winter in Florida, coming home in March. They spent a lot of time near the Daytona International Speedway, his father said.
“This has been a rough six or seven weeks,” Dave Miller said. “But Mark died doing what he loved to do. He liked the river and the quiet there.”