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North Fond du Lac man accused of using stolen underwear to set fires

Michael L. Miller. Photo: Fond du Lac County Jail
Michael L. Miller. Photo: Fond du Lac County Jail(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 11:54 AM CDT
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A North Fond du Lac man is accused of using stolen underwear to set several fires in the county.

Michael L. Miller, 43, has been charged in Fond du Lac County with 27 counts--including arson and possession of child pornography.

Details of the case were revealed in a criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News. Miller, who was officially charged in Fond du Lac County Court today is being held on $200,000 bail.

MARCH 19

On March 19, at about 3 a.m., fire was reported at a vacant home in the 200 block of N Military Rd in Fond du Lac.

MARCH 20

Several fires were set on March 20.

Investigators responded to a fire at a home on Lakeshore Dr. in Fond du Lac County. An 88-year-old woman was in the home. Smoke detectors went off and she was able to escape. Investigators determined the fire had been lit on the outside near a window.

Three other suspicious fires were set that day in the Village of North Fond du Lac.

A vacant mobile home on Meadowlark Ct was damaged by fire.

A vacant home was damaged on Clinton St. Investigators said the fire was similar in origin to the one on Lakeshore Dr. Men's underwear were found at a back window.

In the 700 block of Maine Ave, a woman's bra was stuffed into the furnace exhaust PVC pipe. A child's swimsuit was stuffed into the intake PVC pipe of the furnace. Both items were lit on fire. The fire damaged the pipes before it went out.

SUSPECT IDENTIFIED

North Fond du Lac Police were able to identify Michael Miller as a suspect. He had known ties to a resident on Maine Ave and a resident on Meadowlark Ct.

During an interview, Miller admitted intentionally starting fires in the county, according to the complaint.

"I don't know what his motive was for targeting the specific homes, but there's no known connection between the homes and the suspect that I'm aware of," said Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt.

Officers examined Miller's phone and found "thousands of images of pornography." Some of those images were identified as child pornography.

Sheriff Waldschmidt adds, "My understanding is he didn't take any of them or admit to taking any of them, but in either a case, a child somewhere in the world has been victimized by this an another reason we're happy to have this person off of the streets."

They also found an image of a large fire.

Miller stated that he would take underwear from laundromats and use it to start fires, according to the criminal complaint complaint.

"Miller stated that he was wearing women’s underwear during the interview and he buys the underwear at stores. Miller further stated that the underwear he used to light the fires was taken from laundromats," reads the complaint.

Ultimately, Miller admitted to setting 12 fires between December 2018 and April 2020. The complaint states he knew details about the fires that were not made public.

On April 28, multiple charges were filed against Miller in Fond du Lac County:

POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY - 5 COUNTS

ARSON OF PROPERTY OTHER THAN BUILDING - 1 COUNT

ARSON OF BUILDING - 11 COUNTS

FELONY CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY - 4 COUNTS

BURGLARY OF BUILDING OR DWELLING - 3 COUNTS

FIRST DEGREE RECKLESSLY ENDANGERING SAFETY - 3 COUNTS

Miller is being held on a $200,000 cash bond.

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