LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett County police had a brush with a man who, along with his 5-year-old son, has been reported missing from Iowa — now they’re trying to help track him down again.
Jeremiah Eldon Johnson, 33, was pulled over Friday morning in Buford after allegedly running a red light. Johnson reportedly produced his driver’s license and the Gwinnett County officer returned to his vehicle to run the information, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.
“A hit” returned showing the Johnson was missing from Des Moines, Iowa, along with his 5-year-old son, Johnnathan.
“The hit also indicated that Mr. Johnson is possibly suicidal and homicidal and disappeared with his son during a custody dispute with the child’s biological mother,” Smith said.
When the police officer again approached the vehicle — a silver, 2003 Volkswagen Passat with Iowa plate number 608ZDB — Johnson refused to get out of the car.
“Mr. Johnson refused to get out of the vehicle and sped off with the son still in the car,” Smith said. “The officer gave chase in his vehicle but maintained a safe distance from the suspect vehicle knowing that a child was in the car. The officer lost contact with the vehicle on Buford Dam Rd. as it entered into Forsyth County.”
Over the weekend, authorities in Jackson County believe they found Johnson’s personal belongings in their jurisdiction.
Police are “concerned” for the well-being of the father and son, Smith said.
“Its unknown why Mr. Johnson abandoned all his property but it’s theorized that he may act on his suicidal (or) homicidal thoughts or is attempting to start a new identity with his son,” Smith said.
The elder Johnson is described as 5-foot-9, 230 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. The suspect vehicle has a carrier attached to its rear, which extends out approximately three feet.
There are “handwritten writings about the exterior of the vehicle,” police said. One said “9/11 Veteran.”
Anyone with information is asked call 911 or Gwinnett County police at 770-515-5000.
Smith said local officials attempted to issue a Levi’s Alert and Amber Alert, but were unable to because “the circumstances did not fit the parameters set by the state.”