After a night of hanging out with friends in East Atlanta Village, it seemed as if Demetrice James Allen disappeared.
Two days later, his family and friends filed a missing persons report, beginning a nearly weeklong search to find the 30-year-old.
But by the time he was reported missing, Allen had already died from injuries he sustained in a car wreck, South Fulton police said late Friday.
While a South Fulton detective was investigating the lawyer’s whereabouts, Clayton County investigators were trying to determine the cause of a multi-vehicle crash. Allen died from his injuries.
According to Clayton County police, officers were dispatched last Saturday to a crash on I-285 east near Old Dixie Highway. Investigators believe Allen was at fault for the crash, but due to his injuries, he could not be identified, according to Sgt. C. West.
At the crash scene, Allen was “alert, conscious, and combative” with officers, West said. Investigators did not initially believe Allen’s injuries were life-threatening.
Allen was taken to a local hospital, but died from his injuries, West said.
Hospital employees contacted the GBI, which conducts autopsies for Clayton County. But it was not known why there was a delay in notifying Allen’s relatives.
Late Friday, the South Fulton department offered its sympathies and said it would assist Clayton investigators with the investigation, if needed.
“We offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Allen's family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time,” Sgt. Jubal Rogers said in an emailed statement.
In an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday, James Handley called Allen his best friend and asked for help in the search. Allen was an employment lawyer, Handley said.
“He's a 30-year-old Ohio State graduate that simply went out with friends and never returned from a burger run,” Handley said.
After spending time at Ten ATL lounge on the night of Dec. 6, Handley left in the early morning hours and told a friend he planned to grab a burger on his way home, Handley said. It was the last time he was seen.
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