Investigators Seek To Piece Together Events Of Tragic Day: Two Dead, One Arrested In West Chatham

by Alan Pollock
The house at 1624 Main St. is located in the woods near Bearse’s Pond, and is not visible from Main Street. The house at 1624 Main St. is located in the woods near Bearse’s Pond, and is not visible from Main Street.

WEST CHATHAM – Two people are dead and a third is charged with drug trafficking and possessing materials that can be used to make explosives, and detectives are trying to piece together what happened in a West Chatham house early last week.

The man who was charged, 43-year-old Andreas Miller, is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing. At his arraignment last Wednesday, Miller pleaded not guilty to one count of trafficking in fentanyl and one count of possession of an incendiary device. Miller, who lived in an upstairs bedroom at 1624 Main St., is not charged in the deaths of the other two people in the house, who were found downstairs.

One of those people, a 56-year-old man, was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; the other, identified as his 30-year-old girlfriend, appeared to have suffered a fatal drug overdose. The Chronicle does not generally identify victims of suicide or drug overdoses.

Court records indicate that first responders encountered a confusing scene when they were called to the home shortly before 10:30 a.m. on April 8. The woman’s husband had received a call from his wife’s employer, who said she had failed to show up for work that morning; he called police and asked them to meet him at the West Chatham house, the home of his wife’s boyfriend. The man said his wife hadn’t answered her cell phone, and there was no answer to the doorbell at the house.

Chatham firefighters entered the house through a basement window at around 10:50 a.m., and found the woman and her boyfriend inside, obviously deceased. The woman was found on the floor next to the bed with a blanket covering her body, and the man was found on the bed with a pistol in his hands and an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Rescuers turned the matter over to the police three minutes later, having determined that the two victims could not be revived.

Police officers conducted a “protective sweep” of the residence and found Miller sleeping upstairs; he was escorted outside and taken to the police station for questioning.

State police detectives arrived at the scene and noticed prescription medication bottles on the downstairs bedroom dresser, with medications prescribed to the male victim.

“Troopers also witnessed ‘Narcan’ packaging on the floor in close proximity to the decedents, and cell phones near both decedents,” Trooper Matthew Cote wrote in his police report. Narcan is the brand name of naloxone, a drug used to rapidly reverse opioid overdoses. State police detectives applied for and obtained a warrant to search the premises.

The search led investigators to a first-floor hall closet, which was closed when police initially surveyed the house. “The closet contained several unknown powders, various glass and plastic vials, a plastic container labeled ‘Graphite Powder,’ a small scale, multiple bottles of propane, a pressure cooker labeled ‘Vevor,’ and mail with the name ‘Andreas Miller,’” Cote’s report reads. Inside a package addressed to Miller were several tubes of clear liquid labeled “Bangsite.”

“Based on the training and experience of investigators on scene, these materials are used as precursors for explosives,” the report reads. “Miller’s bedroom is locked with a thumbprint-activated door handle. There is also a camera mounted outside Miller’s door in the second-floor hallway.” Investigators summoned a representative of the State Police Bomb Squad, who identified the powder as charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate. The powders could have been made to produce homemade black powder and sugar rockets, the affidavit reads.

“In addition to and in combination with the powders, the presence of the hobby fuse, cardboard tubes, and other items located and documented are consistent with making homemade explosives and homemade explosive devices,” Cote wrote. An FBI agent also responded to the scene and indicated that the items were commonly used to make explosive devices.

Detectives also allegedly found around 75 grams of “pressed fentanyl pills and white powder of suspected fentanyl” on Miller’s bed.

“During this search, approximately $50,000 cash was also located in Miller’s bedroom,” Cote wrote.

The incident remains under active investigation. Miller is scheduled to appear in Orleans District Court on May 6 for a pretrial conference.

According to social media posts, Miller is a native of Stockholm, Sweden, and attended Nauset Regional High School upon moving to the states. He was the owner and sole employee of a home technology installation company based in Eastham, and has a degree in computer information systems. His posts also indicate that he owned his own website design firm, but it appears that the businesses have been inactive for many years.