Family learns of Decatur student’s death days after filing missing person report

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John Poe

By Asia Ashley

Decatur High School students are mourning the loss of another student weeks after remains of 17-year-old Decatur High Student AJ Haszelton were located.

On Nov. 16, the community learned that 16-year-old John Poe had been killed during a hit-and-run accident after being reported missing on Nov. 14.

“John’s father would like to extend our thanks to you all for your support in looking for John. We have received the worst possible news,” stated a Nov. 16 Facebook post from Poe’s sister-in-law Aaryn Jones, who, among others, were soliciting social media’s assistance in finding Poe over the weekend. “John was hit while biking along Covington [Highway] early Saturday morning and he passed away later that same morning. Please hold your loved ones tight and thank you all again.”

Hours before Poe’s family filed a missing person report, DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD) investigated a fatal pedestrian accident on Covington Highway near South Indian Creek Drive at approximately 3 a.m. Nov. 14, according to DKPD. Police say the victim, identified as Poe on Nov. 16, did not have any identification on him at the time of the accident.

Investigators believe Poe was riding his bicycle on Covington Highway when he was hit by an eastbound vehicle. The driver of the vehicle left the scene and has yet to be identified.

While it is unclear why the department did not connect the missing person report to the accident earlier in the day, The Champion has requested further information regarding the case.

Decatur High School is offering counseling to students and staff affected by the deaths by signing up at the following link:

In late October, Haszelton’s remains were found in Greene County, Ga.; his mother had reported him missing in April. An acquaintance of Haszelton has been arrested and charged with murder in connection to the case.

“Please know that we are here to support you, and we will get through this together,” stated DHS Principal Rochelle Lofstrand.

Anyone with information about the accident involving Poe is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-TIPS.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to solicit donations for funeral expenses for Poe, who is described as “a happy, upbeat tall kid who enjoyed making others laugh.”

DKPD is also looking for drivers of a silver or gray Honda Accord (1998-2001) and an unknown color Nissan Rogue (2007-2015), which may be involved in a Nov. 11 fatal hit-and-run.

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