Kevin Bonham, Published September 08 2013
Body believed to be of missing ND man found in Forest River
“We are not 100 percent sure. We have to go through the formalities, but it appears that we are done,” Walsh County Sheriff Lauren Wild said Sunday. “The family can finally get some closure.”
The discovery was made Saturday evening about a mile west of here, according to the sheriff, who officially was notified at about 9 p.m.
He said someone attending a corn feed at a farm along the river walked over the bank and found the body.
“He was found in the river,” Wild said. “The water’s evidently gone down enough.”
The body was taken to the Grand Forks County medical examiner’s office Saturday night, according to the sheriff.
Authorities did not find any identification. The sheriff said they would check dental records to confirm the identity, which he said could be done by late Sunday or today.
“We’re rejoicing,” said Miller’s sister, Kelly Schanilec, “It’s relief. It’s joy. I really have no words to describe the feeling.”
Miller, 55, was driving a pickup along a gravel road west of Minto when floodwaters washed the vehicle off the road, about 2 miles from the family farm.
Witnesses saw him on the truck and talked with him by phone, but could not reach him in the rushing water. After a friend left the scene to get help, Miller apparently was washed away.
The vehicle, which got hung up on a bank and was partially submerged in the coulee, since has been recovered. The coulee empties into the Forest River about a mile from Minto.
The body was found roughly a mile from the where the pickup was recovered.
Several organized searches have occurred in the 132 days since the incident. Family members and friends also have combed the area looking for clues.
“This area has been searched twice,” said David Gerzewski, fire chief of the Minto Volunteer Fire Department.
A memorial service for Miller was conducted in Minto last week.
“This is the first time that all of his siblings have been here since we lost Guy,” Schanilec said.
“It was a hopeless feeling, being so far away,” said Miller’s sister, Katie Marino, of Boston, “but I knew my family was doing everything they could. We talked about when would be the best time to come. We just felt it was time, so we booked the flight.”
“The support the community, even complete strangers, has given to my whole family has been wonderful. It gave us strength knowing we’re not going through this alone,” Marino said. “I’m at peace, just to be able to lay his body to rest. It’s bittersweet, but it’s so good – providential.”