Update: No Body Found in Lake Search for Carjacking Suspect

A carjacking suspect was chased by police to the Southland Country Club community, where he drove into a tree and then jumped into the lake.

Divers came up empty handed after an afternoon of searching for the body of a carjacking suspect who may have drowned after jumping into the lake at the Southland community while being pursued by DeKalb police.

"We've scanned just about every part of the lake," DeKalb Battalion Chief Antonio Burden said. "This is pretty much it. We'll be wrapping it up."

The suspect allegedly took a silver Mustang in Midtown early Tuesday morning and was chased by police to the Southland lake in unincorporated Stone Mountain.

It was dark when the suspect drove into a tree next to the lake, but the officers chasing him heard a big splash and then were able to make out something moving in the middle of the lake, Chief Burden said. 

Search dogs were taken around the perimeter of the lake and weren't able to pick up a scent, meaning the suspect probably still is in the lake, Chief Burden said. The water is about 20 - 25 feet deep.

Divers from Hall County searched first, then a sonar scan was used to see the lake's bottom. The dive team methodically scanned the lake all afternoon, and found only one thing that might be a body, but it turned out to be a tree stump, Burden said.

Anthony Harris, who lives next to the lake and whose tree and air conditioning units the suspect drove into, said he heard the bang early Tuesday morning as the car hit the tree. 

"My daughter starting shouting, get down, get down, get down, they're shooting," Harris said. 

The bangs were actually the car hitting the AC units and the tree, neighbors said.

State Rep. Billy Mitchell lives next door to Harris and said he woke up to a street full of police cars and blue lights flashing.

The suspect apparently didn't know the area, a community full of cul de sacs such as the one where he crashed the car.

Ian June 21, 2011 at 05:01 PM
Great photo.
Theresa Waldrop June 21, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Divers are going in the lake again after something was spotted on the sonar. We'll know soon whether they've found a body or not.
Tina Pate June 26, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Tina Pate June 26, 2011 at 01:12 PM
The story of the police is a lie about the time the man jump in the lake. I live in this subdivision and we, the homeowners, who live around the lake, can testify about the time the man jumped in the lake. The time the police followed the suspect in my subdivision was at noon.
Tina Pate June 26, 2011 at 01:16 PM
It was not dark at all as the police gave this false statement, as you can read in Patch. It was bright day light, no rain, no clouds. The man outsmart the police by escaping. So the police does not want to look stupid and claimed that it was dark. IT WAS NOT DARK! Look at the picture... Does it look dark???????????? It gets dark between 9 and 10 at night. We have more day light time. Who do you try to fool?????? The man seems to be a good swimmer and escaped. Period!!


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