ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - It has been a lingering question for months, where is 33-year-old Chad Cope. It is something his father, Kevin Cope and the family have been trying to get answered.
"That is the worst thing that anybody can go through, I believe, is not knowing where your child is," Kevin said.
The family filed a missing person report with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office in April. After the family started looking into his disappearance themselves they learned Chad may not have been seen since early February when a Rockdale County Sheriff’s deputy tried to arrest him.
The sheriff’s office says on February 7, a deputy spotted Chad, who was wanted for a probation violation, and tried to take him in. Deputies say after a brief bike and foot chase, they lost him, and a police dog was called in. The K-9 was able to track Chad to the edge of the Yellow River, where they believe he jumped in to avoid arrest. At the time, deputies searched the area, but did not find him.
"Everything led me to the river and I kept telling everybody he’s in the river we got to find him, we got to go in the river and go find him," Kevin said.
With that belief in mind, the family searched the Yellow River on Saturday before a diver they hired planned to take a look. While on the water, they say they spotted partially submerged remains less than a mile from where Chad was last seen. His father believes it is him because of his teeth.
"We were hoping that he wasn't in the river, but everything in my mind, heart, my head, my stomach, everything told me he was in there," said Cope.
The family says they are upset with how the entire case was handled and would like to see some changes to police pursuits and missing persons’ investigations.
As for the remains, the sheriff’s office says it has not been positively identified yet, but the Rockdale County Coroner is working on that.