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Former Senator's son still missing

March 1, 2006

Ware County -
27-year old Van Streat, Junior left work in Waycross February 15th around 10:15 PM. He was supposed to visit a friend in Alma that night, but he never made it. He hasn't been seen or heard from since, but his family and friends are still looking.

"It's the mystery, it's what so hard," says Elaine Streat, "Little Van's" aunt. The family has been looking for the 27-year old for almost two weeks now. Elaine says, "It would be much easier if we knew what direction to focus on, to put our thoughts, our energy, our time."

So far, the only sign of Little Van is his recovered pickup truck. She says, "None of the information the GBI has shared with us has indicated any evidence of foul play, they have processed the truck, not once, but twice."

The area where Little Van's truck was found submerged doesn't look very deep, but you can't go through it with a vehicle. Right next to it, you can see I can't even reach the bottom of this water with a stick and there are thousands of similar areas of wetlands that have to be searched. Not by foot, but by divers. "It stays underwater, a lot of it, year round," says Bacon County Sheriff Richard Foskey. And the water at beach pole yard was even higher here when Streat's truck was found, so why would anyone try to drive through? "That's what I want to know."

And for that, Sheriff Richard Foskey needs you help, if you have a clue, no matter how small, call it in. He says, "Little stuff might lead to big stuff so, yes mam, we're taking anything we can get."

As is the family. They're leaning on Linda Fletcher, the director of the Tara Grinstead Command Center for advise on how to best search for Little Van. Fletcher says, "We know what how it feels like to have someone we love go missing."

And now they want to experience a different feeling: closure. Sheriff Foskey says, "I want to know for the family and give them some closure to what happened here."

But more than anything, they hope Little Van will come home. Elaine says, "We're just hoping anytime, he's going to come in, and we're going to find him and I'm going to believe that until I'm proven different."

Van Streat Junior was saving up money to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Kelly.

If you have any information on Little Van's whereabouts, contact one of the following law enforcement centers:

Community Automated Tip Line in Waycross: (912) 287-2924

Waycross Police Department Dispatch Center: (912) 287-4335

Waycross Police Department the business office: (912) 287-2921

Bacon Co. Sheriff's Department: (912) 632-2658

GBI: (800) 597-TIPS

Police search for missing Coffee County man

February 18, 2006

Waycross- The son of a former state senator is missing.

Donnie Lavan "Van" Streat Junior was last seen Wednesday night leaving the CSX Service Center in Waycross, Georgia. He called a friend in Alma around 11:00 P.M. to say he was on his way. Friday evening Streat's truck was discovered partially submerged in a pond just off Beach Highway in Ware County. Anyone with information should call the Waycross Police Department Dispatch Center at (912) 287-4335 or the Community Automated Tip Line at (912) 287-2924. -Jennifer Emert, WALB NEWS


Search continues for Coffee County man

February 22, 2006

Coffee County-- The son of a former state senator was still missing as of Saturday night. 27-year-old Donnie LaVan Streat, Jr. hasn't been seen since Wednesday night. Law enforcement, family and friends have searched the area for the past few days and still no sign of the Coffee County man. They're asking for your help. "It's not like him to disappear for this long and not call someone," says Streat's brother-in-law Seab Lastinger. The family of 27-year-old Donnie LaVan Streat, Jr isn't giving up hope of finding him. He's been missing since Wednesday night. "He was supposed to be at a friend's house and never showed up," says Lastinger. Streat left his job at the CSX Service Center in Waycross late that night. There is proof that he made atleast one stop. "We have record that sometime between 9 and 10 p.m Wednesday night that he purchased something at Flash Foods Convenience Store in Waycross," says Lastinger. It was in Ware County that his Dodge pickup truck was found on Friday. "A person spotted his truck down a dirt road," says Lastinger. At about 5 p.m., the truck was found partially submerged in a pond on Pleasant Grove Road off of Beach Road in Ware County but there was no sign of Streat. "The Georgia State Patrol had a helicopter out there with an infrared camera and a spotlight," says Lastinger. The Department of Natural Resources also dragged the area with nets and found nothing. Now, the family is still looking for answers. "We couldn't think of anyone who who would want to harm him. He had no enemies so that's one of the tough things. We don't know what could have happened," says Lastinger. They want help from anyone who may have information. "If anyone has seen him in the past few days or think they may have or know anybody they've seen him around, they can contact us," says Lastinger. But the biggest contact they want is with their loved one. "Right now, everyone's trying to stay positive. We feel like there's all kinds of scenarios, you know, what if," says Lastinger. They won't give up until the man they call "Little Van" is home again. At this time, law enforcement is still treating the investigation as a missing person case. If you have any information, call the Bacon County Sheriff's Department at 912-632-2658 or The Community Automated Tip Line at 912-287-2924. –LEN KIESE, WALB NEWS