One Night in Baton Rouge: An in-depth investigation into the disappearance and death of Nathan Millard

BATON ROUGE — Nathan Millard was like many people who come to Baton Rouge, to spend one night in Baton Rouge for work. The husband and father was here on business for what was supposed to be a quick, 24-hour stop in the Capitol City to meet with a client at a work site.

But his visit is full of mystery clouded in darkness. Twists and turns have unraveled insecurities of the city we call home.

How did a businessman from Georgia simply vanish before being found dead wrapped in carpet, covered in plastic wearing nothing but his underwear nearly two weeks later?

Unfiltered with Kiran is breaking down the case and piecing together new clues with never before released evidence.

You’ll hear from Millard’s wife, investigators directly involved in the case to give you a unique perspective as we break down critical clues to try and understand what happened.

There’s a lot we still don’t know about Millard, but for the first time, you’ll hear more about who he was from those who knew him best. That includes a never before discussed path to recovery as a former addict.

Millard’s Disappearance: What we know

February 22, 2023, was a warm winter day even by Louisiana standards.

Nathan Millard, a 42-year-old father of five from just outside of Atlanta, traveled to Baton Rouge for a business trip. he was traveling to meet with a client and to see a job site for his company, Advanced Construction in Conyers, Georgia.

Millard’s client Josh Wiles flew in from Tennessee. The two men met at the Baton Rouge airport, rented a car and checked into the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Baton Rouge.

Surveillance video shows Millard (right) and his work client Josh Wiles (left) inside the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in downtown Baton Rouge. This would be the last time Millard is seen at the hotel. (Photo provided by: Texas EquuSearch)

Surveillance pictures captured our first glimpse at Millard and Wiles leaving the hotel early that afternoon. Sources tell UWK that the men were at the hotel less than 30 minutes before leaving out.

Night out in BR

Millard and Wiles stopped at Happy’s Irish Pub on Third St. after leaving the hotel. From there, they went to the PMAC for a LSU basketball game.

Millard’s wife Amber says that he FaceTime’d her from the game showing off his seats.

The game ended just before 8 p.m. and sources tell UWK that from the game the two men took a rideshare to The Penthouse Club, a gentleman’s club off Bennington Ave. It’s a roughly 15 minute drive from LSU’s campus. After The Penthouse Club, Wiles tells UWK that he and Millard walked to a nearby bar before they took a ride share back to Happy’s around 9:45 p.m.

Wiles says he is fully cooperating with law enforcement and Amber, but did not want to speak with the media.

The duo were at Happy’s for a very short amount of time. The bartender at the pub refused to serve Millard drinks, and he was reportedly only served water. That’s when Amber tells UWK that Nathan told Wiles he was headed back to the hotel, and that they would see each other the next morning for their work meeting.

This map of Baton Rouge shows Millard’s hotel, Happy’s Irish Pub, the PMAC at LSU and The Penthouse Club off College Dr.

Tracking Millard’s whereabouts

But Millard never made it to the hotel. Instead, he detoured through downtown Baton Rouge. Millard is spotted at several locations around Baton Rouge that night. Investigators using his ATM transactions and surveillance footage to try and piece together his steps through the city.

One of those surveillance videos caught Millard stumbling and walking into bushes. The video also shows Millard walking into oncoming traffic.

But much of where Millard went and what he did that night remains a mystery.

“There’s a three to four hour stretch where we don’t know where he was,” Tim Miller, founder of the nonprofit search and recovery group EquuSearch, said.

Millard’s body found

Nathan Millard’s body was found around 3:30 a.m. on March 6 along Scenic Hwy near Chippewa St. in Baton Rouge.

It was 11 days before Millard’s body was found in an abandoned structure behind a funeral home off Scenic Hwy. in north Baton Rouge.

Someone driving by around 3:30 a.m. smelled something and started investigating.

“It smelled like something was bad or something was rotting,” that person told UWK. “At first, I thought it was a dead animal, but I didn’t see anything. Then I saw feet. That’s when I got really scared and my stomach was just turning in knots.”

Police found Millard wrapped in carpet that was covered with plastic. Sources tell UWK he was only wearing his underwear, and that his body was badly decomposed. Investigators could only use fingerprints to positively identify him.

This photo was taken just a few hours after Millard’s body was discovered. He was found wrapped in carpet. It’s unclear if this is the same carpet that was left behind.

Break in the case

Baton Rouge Police narrowed their search to 45-year-old Derrick Perkins, who goes by the nickname ‘Stanka’.

A week after Millard’s body was found, Perkins was arrested on March 13.

He’s been charged with unlawful disposal of human remains, tampering with evidence and device access fraud.

Sources confirm Perkins’ vehicle was found torched near where Millard’s body was found. A cadaver dog led officers to the vehicle, and the K9 officer hit on the trunk of the burned vehicle.

Derrick Perkins, 45, has been charged in connection with Millard’s disappearance. (Source: BRPD)

Sources tell UWK that Millard was last seen with Perkins on February 23 around 4:30 a.m. at the Kangaroo Express on Highland Rd.

Police say Perkins used Millard’s debit card at the Kangaroo Express and several other locations around Baton Rouge. Millard’s family told UWK that Millard was seen in the car with Perkins and a woman believed to be a prostitute.

An autopsy by the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office revealed no internal or external trauma to his body. The cause and manner of death is pending until the final results of a toxicology report are complete.

Timeline of Millard’s One Night in Baton Rouge

February 22 | 9:30 a.m.

Nathan Millard and his work client Josh Wiles arrived at the Baton Rouge airport on the morning of February 22.

The two men rented one car, and drove together from the airport to downtown Baton Rouge.

 February 22 | Early afternoon

The next known whereabouts are at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel. The two men are seen leaving the hotel in the early afternoon hours.

They have drinks at Happy’s before the LSU basketball game. They also went to The Penthouse Club after leaving the PMAC.

February 22 | 10 p.m.

Sources confirm after Millard left Happy’s, he walked down Third St. where he was picked up on surveillance walking past the Courtyard Marriott, meaning he took a right onto Florida St.  

His phone was recovered on Convention St. at 7th St. near the post office downtown.

By the time Millard made it to the Greyhound bus station, he had already lost his phone.

Somewhere in the night, Millard was connected with a homeless man. That man was detained and questioned by Baton Rouge police and released. He was never charged.

February 23 | 2:30 a.m.

Millard is seen at the Greyhound bus station around 2:30 a.m. Sources tell UWK that the homeless man guided Millard toward the ATM near the bus station.

“We talked to a lady at the bus station who actually talked to him,” Tim Miller, founder and director of the search group Texas EquuSearch said. “He was apparently having some confusion on getting back to the hotel.”

Baton Rouge police said that a security guard at the Greyhound bus station offered to call Millard a ride or even call police for him. Police said Millard “didn’t appear to be in distress” adding that he left on his own.

Amber disputed Baton Rouge police’s claim that Nathan was not in distress. She tells UWK that she was told Nathan believed he was being followed.

February 23 | After 2:30 a.m.

Millard withdrew $100 out of an ATM near the bus station, and he put the money in his pocket.

Amber told UWK that she is told he told the security guard and told her that if someone tried to rob him, they would get the money out of his pocket and not get his debit card. He reportedly put the debit card in his boot.

Amber said the security guard helped guide Nathan back to his hotel, and that she told him to walk straight to the hotel and not to stop or talk to anyone he believed was watching him.

Millard would lose his wallet after leaving the bus station. It was found nearby, according to Texas EquuSearch.

February 23 | 4:30 a.m.

The last time Millard is reportedly seen alive was at the Kangaroo Express on Highland Rd. near LSU’s campus.

Millard was in a car with Derrick Perkins and a woman believed to be a prostitute.

It’s unclear how or when Millard ended up in that car.

ATM Transactions

Amber shared her husband’s ATM and debit card transactions with UWK to help fill in some of the gaps in the timeline.

There are several ATM transactions and some stops at convenience stores around Baton Rouge that night.

The transaction report shows that Millard checked his balance and withdrew $20 from an ATM around 2 a.m.

About 30 minutes later, at 2:33 a.m., Millard took out $100 from the ATM at the Greyhound bus station.

Sources tell UWK that all of those transactions were Millard. The rest of the transactions are believed to have been someone else.

  • 5:21 a.m. : Purchase for $23.75 | ATM on East Washington St.
  • 5:28 a.m. : Someone checked balance at that same ATM
  • 5:30 a.m. : $103.75 transaction at an ATM on East Washington St. ($100 cash withdrawal plus a service fee)
  • 12:00 p.m. : Charge for $30.16
  • 12:07 p.m. : Charge for $28.35
  • 12:47 p.m. : Charge for $26.39
  • 1:07 p.m. : Charge for $79.99
  • 1:16 p.m. : Charge for $24.74 (unsuccessful)
    February 25
  • 4:30 a.m. : Charge denied

“They’re doing everything in their power to make it look like this was Nathan that asked for all of this”

Millard’s best friend Devon Corbett spoke uncandidly to UWK about their relationship, and Millard’s demons with alcohol.

Corbett says he had a “weird feeling” when he reached out to Millard February 23 and did not hear back.

“I wanna say he called me Wednesday morning (February 22), and I couldn’t catch it,” Corbett said. “I called him back on Thursday. I actually tried to text him as well, and I didn’t get a response at all. We would at least text back and say, ‘I’m busy’, so it was just a little strange.”

“He would have been sober for about 15 months”

Millard’s wife Amber and Corbett admit that he was a recovering alcoholic. Corbett says that October 2022 marked one year of Millard’s sobriety.

“Nathan was not an angry drunk,” Corbett said. “He wasn’t a mean drunk or wild drunk. He just liked to have a good time and sometimes he would take it too far.”

Corbett went on to say, “He would call me the next day and say, ‘Hey man, I had a little too much to drink and Amber is on me.”

Amber has spoken with UWK, but said she was too emotionally drained to interview again. But she did say that she fought to get Nathan into rehab in October 2021. She says she called multiple facilities to secure a spot for treatment for Nathan.

“Something nefarious happened that night”

Amber said when he was drunk, Nathan became even more naïve, gullible and trusted everyone.

Sources told UWK that Happy’s stopped serving him any more alcohol because he was so intoxicated.

“I have seen him in the state that he was described in,” Corbett said. “If he was being cut off from drinking at bars, he was probably a little bit out of his mind. I feel like he was taken advantage of, and something nefarious happened that night.”

“Nathan did not go there with the intentions of getting completely whacked out of his mind and not seeing his family the next day. Something happened. That car was burnt for a reason.”

Corbett says he wanted to speak because of the public perception that Millard lived a risky lifestyle and somehow did this to himself.

“From what I understand, the prostitute was an acquaintance of the man (Perkins) that was arrested,” Corbett told UWK. “I think that they were just probably together. Nathan was not one to indulge in prostitution, and I can tell you that Nathan has told me the good, the bad and the ugly of everything he has done.”

“We don’t have any indication there was any foul play involved”

Millard’s wife Amber has been critical of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s handling of Millard’s case. She has been critical of the department’s news conference help after his body was found, and she has been critical of how they have handled the investigation.

“They’re doing everything in their power to make it look like this was Nathan that asked for all of this,” she said. “It’s gut wrenching, and it makes no sense.” 

Amber says she believes there have been questionable decisions made in the investigation from the beginning.

“Nobody humanly possible can, after they’re deceased, roll themselves up and dispose of their body,” she said of Baton Rouge Police’s assertion that foul play was not involved. “It makes me even nauseous that they can even speak that. (His disappearance) was never taken serious from day one on (BRPD’s) end.”

Baton Rouge Police have said that there were no internal or external trauma to Millard’s body.

“It doesn’t appear to be any foul play”

She says that she doesn’t understand why investigator’s would not keep her husband’s cell phone that was found hours after Nathan had gone missing in downtown Baton Rouge. Amber says that the phone was given back to her husband’s client, and that the phone was then overnighted to the company he worked for.

She tells UWK that she questions why BRPD wouldn’t use the phone to track his last steps, look at phone calls that were made or even check rideshare apps for clues.

Amber also feels that evidence may have been left behind from where her husband’s body was found.

“Why did they leave part of the rug behind,” she questioned. “It just doesn’t make sense. It’s mindboggling, it’s disgusting. I always felt like Nathan was just another number (to them).”

Nathan Millard was found wrapped in a rug and plastic, sources tell UWK.

“It doesn’t appear to be any foul play at this point,” police said. “I know he was placed there, obviously, by another individual. We would like to know by who and why, but just from the autopsy results we’ve received from the coroner’s officer there doesn’t appear to be any foul play.”

“The puzzle pieces just aren’t adding up”

As for parts of the rug Millard was allegedly found wrapped in being left at the scene, police said detectives and crime scene investigators confer with each other on what needs to be taken.

“Everything that needed to be collected was collected from that scene,” Hines said.

Hours after that news conference, sources tell UWK that the rug was removed. That was more than 24 hours after Millard’s body was found and disposed of.

“I just feel that clearly if (BRPD is) struggling with this investigation, then maybe they can humble themselves and ask for outside assistance like the state police to come in,” Amber said. “The puzzle pieces just aren’t adding up.”

Amber has formally requested the Louisiana State Police to take over the investigation from BRPD. But Amber tells UWK that she has yet to hear back from LSP. She also says that East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome nor BRPD Chief Murphy Paul has reached out to her.

“He loved his kids”

“He loved his kids, loved his daughter, loved his family,” Corbett told UWK.

Nathan and Amber each had two sons from each of their previous marriages and they shared a 7-year-old daughter.

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW NOW

“He was the best girl dad,” Amber said. “I always told him he was made to be a girl father. He would do facemasks, tea parties or whatever. He was her playmate.”

She says that the ordeal has been hard to process for their young daughter. Amber says she doesn’t “quite understand what’s going on.”

“We’re trying to just stay as normal on our daily routine as possible.”

Corbett admits that Millard’s relationship with his sons from his previous marriage was strained.

“He talked about them all the time,” Corbett said. “He missed them. He loved them. If they’re listening, I hope they know, I want them to know that he spoke about them often. Nathan would want them to know that he cared for them a lot.”

“Still a pending investigation”

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. Beau Clark spoke with Unfiltered with Kiran about Millard’s death investigation.

Kiran: Fill us in on Nathan Millard’s Case as much as you can.

Coroner Dr. Beau Clark: Sure, right now the case is still pending investigation. We’re waiting waiting specifically on the toxicology report to come back and that takes about 10 weeks from the time we send it off because we use a national laboratory to get the best quality results and the reason it takes 10 weeks is because of there’s been a national explosion with the opioid epidemic in general so a lot of people are using the same laboratory…the two that exist. 

Kiran: What are you looking for in the toxicology report?

Dr. Clark: So we typically order a panel that’s called drugs of abuse panel. Those are the most common drugs that we see through our investigations and even nationally through other investigations that people use and misuse. It’s specifically the illicit ones that result in people’s deaths. We typically start with that panel. We can get either a basic or advanced level. The advanced level adds more drugs to it. We are in constant communication with the toxicologist there so as they run the tests, if they see any results that might be a test we didn’t order but might be significant for the case, they’ll call us back and say, ‘Hey, you might want to add such and such to this case and of course we will and that’ll give us those results and we can see if they’re playing a role in the death that we’re investigation.

Kiran: Are you at liberty to say what all you have ordered on this case?

Dr. Clark: We ordered the advance panel, the routine one. We have not had any communication with them saying we need to order more because they’re seeing more but if they do, we of course will order it. 

Kiran: Can you tell us as the coroner, was there any trauma to the body?

Dr. Clark: We did not at autopsy see any signs of internal or external trauma so that means overall looking at the body, what we call a gross examination and look at the body as a whole, we did not see any gunshot wounds or stab wounds and then of course when we do our internal investigation, we cut the body open and examine all of the organs, all the systems, we didn’t see any trauma there. 

Kiran: We’ve heard the phrase no foul play from the police department, did that come from the coroner’s office. 

Dr. Clark: No it did not. My statement was simply what was released in the press release that you got, all the other media outlets from across the country have called and requested that and that is the only information we have released in this case because it’s still pending investigation.

Kiran: So when they’re saying no foul play, can you I guess provide some clarity on that?

Dr. Clark: I’m not really sure what they mean to be honest with you. Those were their words and I don’t want to speak for them but I will say this, in my opinion of this, I can see two instances currently where there were violations of Louisiana Statute. First one would be when someone dies, the first person that’s supposed to be notified is the coroner. Obviously if there was anyone with Nathan Millard when he died, they did not call us, so that’s a violation of statute right there. The second one would be moving a deceased body, there are very specific statues in regards to who can do that and certainly in this case, I think that would also be a violation because the body was moved to a location where we found it so right now, those are two violations of state law that I can think of related to this case. 

Kiran: So if there’s no physical trauma to the body, inside or outside, is one to conclude it’s going to be drug related?

Dr. Clark: Well I don’t want to conclude that because I don’t have all the information. I’m an emergency medicine by trade and sometimes people say what are the chances of someone living or dying in my world. I never say it’s 100% either way because I’ve seen things happen that I didn’t think were possible so I’m just going to wait until we get all of the information back and once i feel we have everything we need to make a definite conclusion, then that’s when we will make that decision.  

Kiran: Any signs of strangulation?

Dr. Clark: No. 

Kiran: And how do you test/check for that?

Dr. Clark: From an external and internal examination point, when we say there’s no signs of external or internal trauma, we didn’t find any broken bones. When we look at something like strangulation, typically we can look at the bones of the neck and see if there’s any fractures to those bones that was a result of the pressure from the strangulation.  There is the phenomenon of something called asphyxia.  Asphyxia and strangulation are very different topics. Strangulation obviously has to do with compression of the airway whereas asphyxia is a similar compression but it’s much less force is required and leads to a lack of oxygen. So sometimes when you compress the veins and you’re limiting the oxygen flow to the brain, then you can have a phenomenon where someone passes out or loses consciousness and even dies as a result of it. So we will examine both at autopsy and even microscopically if necessary, the tissue around the neck area looking for things like that and as of now, we have not seen that.

Kiran: We’ve heard the words “accidental overdose” being tossed around in this case. Can you elaborate on that?

Dr. Clark: Yes, I won’t make a determination so when we’re talking about accidental, we’re talking about the manner of death. There are five manners of death: natural, homicide, suicide, accidental or undetermined. I won’t make a determination as to the manner of death until we have more clarity on the cause of death. Often times, in general, overdoses are seen as accidental based on the investigative information we have. We have had a few instances where we’ve had overdoses deaths that were considered homicides and those were in infants and children but it depends on the circumstances of the investigation so that will be something that will be determined in conjunction with the cause of death.

Kiran: This case is not being investigated as a homicide, correct? 

Dr. Clark: From my standpoint we’re still investigating it and we have not made that determination. As far as what law enforcement is doing, you will have to ask them. I’m not sure what they’re doing. Sometimes it’s challenging for people to understand this but the office of the coroner is purposely a separate office. We work of course in conjunction with the criminal justice system. We work with the district attorney’s office when it comes to testimony in cases. We work with law enforcement as they’re investigating and talking to suspects, trying to make arrests but we’re independent for a reason and even though we don’t work in a silo, we work in an environment where our duty and responsibility is to the deceased and the family and making that determination even independent in and of those other entities. 

Kiran: Usually when it comes to deciding if it is a homicide or not, that comes from you or no?

Dr. Clark: We’re talking of the manner of death? Yes, that would come from me. However, I can call something an accidental death and the district attorney’s office can still choose to prosecute and then maybe through the legal system on the back end, it becomes classified as something else. It never changes what I classify it as but it may be classified as something else.

Kiran: I guess one of the last things I want to touch on is alcohol. We’ve been told repeatedly that he was a recovering addict and he had been clean and sober for a year and a half and just fell off the train when he came to Baton Rouge. What about blood alcohol content, has all that been tested or would that be in the toxicology?

Dr. Clark: That’s all part of the pending toxicology. Alcohol is included in that evaluation. 

Kiran: And obviously, too much alcohol can kill you?

Dr. Clark: Sure. We talk often times about the opioid epidemic because it’s such a large problem in this country and this community with fentanyl and other drugs but there are still other drugs that people abuse out there. You have cocaine. You have methamphetamine and even marijuana is abused so the drug panel we get looks at all of those drugs whether they’re present or absent and then even goes to the next extent. If they’re present, to what level and that’s very important because you can have certain drugs in your system and alcohol would be a very good example. You can have just a little bit of alcohol in your system that we know doesn’t impair you. Of course you can have more than what’s considered the impairment level or the legal level of 0.08 and you are impaired by it and so that why’s quantitative toxicology from a nationally credited laboratory is so important for the work we do. Unfortunately, it takes so long to get that back but that’s where we are.

If you have any information about Millard’s disappearance or death, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on any new developments.

Editor’s Note:

The Baton Rouge Police Department does not work with UWK and does not respond to any emails or questions regarding cases. It’s why BRPD does not have a response in this report.

As per BRPD General Order 139,  Public Information Officers may communicate with authorized news media representatives which is defined as “those individuals who are directly employed by agencies of the electronic or print media such as radio, television and newspapers.” 
The policy specifically states that “free-lance workers in this field are to be regarded as other members of the general public unless otherwise designated by the Chief of Police.”

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