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GBI: Body Found In Ware County Identified As Donnie Streat Jr.

POSTED: 9:11 pm EST March 10, 2006
UPDATED: 9:34 pm EST March 10, 2006

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Friday that a body discovered Thursday morning in northeast Ware County is that of Donnie Lavan Streat Jr.

Streat, of Nichols, Ga., has been missing since leaving work on the night of Feb. 15. Streat was the son of former state Sen. Van Streat.

Searchers with the Ware County Sheriff's Office found the body partially submerged in water in a wooded area off Pole Yard Road. The area was the focus of search efforts since the missing man's pickup truck was found abandoned off the same road two days after he disappeared.

Medical records were used to aid in the identification process during an autopsy at the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office at the Moultrie Crime Laboratory.

Based on the results of the autopsy, there were no signs of trauma to the body and it did not appear foul play was involved in Streat’s death, according to the GBI.

Additional lab tests are pending, and the investigation is ongoing.
 
 

Searchers Believe They've Found Body Of Missing Man

UPDATED: 6:51 pm EST March 9, 2006

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that a body believed to be that of a 27-year-old missing CSX worker was discovered Thursday morning in northeast Ware County.

Donnie Lavan "Van" Streat Jr., of Nichols, Ga., has been missing since leaving work Wednesday night, Feb. 15. Streat is the son of former state Sen. Van Streat.

Searchers with the Ware County Sheriff's Office found the body partially submerged in water in a wooded area off Pole Yard Road. The area has been the focus of search efforts since the missing man's pickup truck was found abandoned off the same road two days after he disappeared.

A local resident gave authorities a tip, saying that they should re-search the area where the body was found.

"It's been almost a month, but that particular geographic location in Ware County there has been probably, at the site where the body was discovered, approximately 3 feet of water, which had been drained from that area," said Agent Jeff Evans of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. "The location where various individuals from the community had been continuously cleaning out pipes for the water to drain off that area, I think aided in the body being located."

A positive identification and cause of death is pending an autopsy that will be performed at the GBI crime lab in Savannah.

Son Of Former Georgia Senator Missing From Waycross

POSTED: 12:51 pm EST February 21, 2006

WAYCROSS, Ga. -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is assisting Waycross police in its search for 27-year-old Donnie "Van" Streat Jr. of Nicholls, Ga.

 

Streat's father is former Georgia state Sen. Van Streat.
 
Streat disappeared after leaving his job at the CSX Center in Waycross about 10:15 p.m. last Wednesday. He was reportedly headed to visit a friend in Alma.

Waycross police said Streat's pickup truck was found partially submerged in a pond in Bacon County about 5 p.m. Friday. They said there was no sign of struggle in the truck and they are currently searching his cell phone records for any information that could help with the investigation.
 
The Bacon County community has come together to aid the police in their search. The community said it will continue to search old roads and ponds to find any clues possible.

"We're all heartbroken, but we're hoping for the best. All you can do is just hope and pray. Everybody just pray for the best," said Streat's brother-in-law, Robert Hooper.

Members of the GBI, the Waycross police chief and others met Tuesday afternoon to look over clues to come up with some idea of what happened.
 
"We are actively perusing all the investigative leads that are coming in," said GBI agent Jeff Evans.

Streat's family members and friends said they will not give up. They continue to expand their search area. Waycross police chief Tony Tanner said the investigation may end up involving several counties.

"Anywhere in south Georgia -- if they've seen him, we need to know about it," Tanner said.