Man charged in July death of teen found shot in Gwinnett park

Credit: GoFundMe

Credit: GoFundMe

A man was charged with murder Friday, months after the body of a teenager was found at a Gwinnett County park, police said.

Austin Ford, 20, of Lithonia, is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in connection with the death of 18-year-old Tori Lang, who was found underneath a tree at Yellow River Park near Stone Mountain in July, Gwinnett police spokesman Sgt. J.R. Richter said.

Ford is currently in custody in Clayton County on unrelated charges and will be brought to Gwinnett County at a later date, Richter said.

On July 28, Police responded to an “unknown medical call” about 6:30 a.m. after parkgoers discovered the teen’s body during their morning walk and called 911, Richter said. Lang, a 2020 Stephenson High School graduate, was found in a grassy field with an apparent gunshot wound, he said.

ExplorePolice ID DeKalb teen found shot to death in Gwinnett park

Less than a week later, Lang’s burned-out Nissan Versa was discovered at DeKalb County’s Hidden Acres Nature Preserve, less than five miles from where she was killed, Channel 2 Action News reported. A park ranger found the compact sedan, which authorities said had been set on fire and then rolled or pushed into the woods.

Lang’s family reported her missing the day her body was discovered, according to a DeKalb County police report. They learned the teen had been killed after Gwinnett police posted photos of her tattoos on social media in an attempt to identify her.

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Lang’s dad, Torrey Lang, said they often visited the sprawling 691-acre park as a family, but said he isn’t sure why she was there last week.

“It’s just hard every day thinking of this moment,” the teen’s aunt, Tamara Lang, said. “What would you do if this was your child? If you know something, if you saw something, we just implore somebody to say something.”

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Lang was known to her loved ones as “Kiwi.” She planned to study architectural engineering in college, her family told Channel 2. They described her as “a very caring spirit,” who would often put the needs of others first.

“One of the things that I would always try to explain to her is you can’t save everybody,” Tamara Lang told the news station. “She was always trying to help her friends.”

Police did not release a motive in the case.

Anyone with information about the shooting at Yellow River Park is asked to call Gwinnett police at 770-513-5700. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a cash reward, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.