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Three weeks later, suspect's body found in Lake Lucerne

LILBURN -- The body of Javon Depass was found in Lilburn's Lake Lucerne on Friday afternoon, almost three weeks after he allegedly hit a police car and fled into the water.

Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said that a homeowner on nearby Lake Lucerne Drive sighted a body in the water at about 1:30 p.m. Friday. The remains were extricated from the lake and identified as Depass, a 25-year-old man who, according to his family, could not swim.

Around midnight on Jan. 8, Depass was reportedly asked to leave the Eastside Station nightclub on Highpoint Road in Snellville. An off-duty law enforcement officer working at the club warned him against driving.

Depass said he had a designated driver, but got behind the wheel of his Nissan Altima instead, police said.

On U.S. Highway 78, Depass swerved into a Gwinnett police cruiser, then kept driving until he veered off Lake Lucerne Drive and into a utility pole. Police believed he fled on foot toward Lake Lucerne, where his scent ended for K-9 searchers on his trail.

Boats, helicopters and cadaver dogs searched the 40-acre lake for three days before the search was abandoned.