With the search for Koy Spears over, an ALEA investigation continues, Jeep still missing

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. -- While medical examiners have positively identified the body found at Morgans Cove earlier this week as missing DeKalb County teen Koy Spears, law enforcement officials are continuing their investigation.

Tuesday night brought some closure to nearly three weeks of searching for missing 18-year-old Koy Spears. Fishermen found his body not far from the search location at Buck's Pocket State Park. He went missing back in late February.

Spears was with two other teens in a Jeep when it was swept into a flooded South Sauty Creek at Buck's Pocket State Park on a rainy Friday night. The two teens were rescued. Spears and the Jeep were missing.

Wednesday afternoon officials identified the body found by fishermen Tuesday night as Spears, bringing some closure to a search that involved dozens of people from more than three counties. "There were a lot of different resources, a lot of different agencies that were involved. It was really good to see how so many different people and groups came together," said Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Captain Gary Buchanan.

“There was a lot of cooperation with the three county EMAs, Jackson, DeKalb, and Marshall Counties," he added, "A lot of people think of EMAs only when there’s some kind of natural disaster that happens, but for the family this was a disastrous event, and it was nice to have all of those resources and agencies come together to try to resolve this.”

There's some closure now, but the investigation isn't over. "That will be ongoing," Captain Buchanan said, "We don't really have a timeline on when that will be over."

Medical examiners haven't released Spears' official cause of death yet. Information from the two teens who were with Spears when he went missing would have officials believe the Jeep is still in the creek.

There were two occasions searchers believed they might have a location for the Jeep, but despite efforts from the air, divers in the water, and a wrecker truck, the Jeep is still missing. Parts of a vehicle were found during the initial search days.

The water conditions have been dangerous since the beginning, which put limitations on the search. That hasn't changed. "Safety was always paramount in that search, but you want to be able to give the family that sense of closure," Buchanan said, "So now that that part has ended we can kind of step back a little bit and wait on that Jeep." The creek is still moving swiftly.

There's a balloon release Friday morning at Geraldine High School for Spears.

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