Alvin Ahmed was last seen leaving the grocery store in Loganville around 9:15 p.m. Monday after picking up some groceries for his mother.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Man pulled from Gwinnett lake was a suicide, police say

A man whose body was found nine days ago in a Gwinnett County lake died from a gunshot wound to the head in an apparent suicide, police said Friday. They have not determined if the body was that of a pharmacy intern missing since July 16, but said evidence indicates it could be him.

“Circumstantial evidence does point to the deceased person being Alvin Ahmed and there is no evidence that suggests the deceased person is someone else,” Sgt. Jake Smith said. “However, at this point the investigation has not concluded that the deceased person is Alvin Ahmed.”

Bullet fragments match a gun and ammunition purchased by Ahmed in May, according to police. 

Ahmed, 25,  was last seen July 16 after leaving the Publix in Loganville where he worked as a pharmacy intern. He had purchased a few groceries to take to his mother, according to his family, but Ahmed never made it home. 

His car, with the groceries and white pharmacy coat inside, was found still in the grocery store parking lot. Ahmed’s family believed he was abducted. 

Two days later, a woman called police to report seeing something in Lake Carlton, a small lake about 2 miles from the Publix. Firefighters and police pulled a body from the water.

An autopsy was conducted late last week, but the medical examiner’s office was unable to identify the body and has been conducting additional testing.

Dental records from Ahmed were not available to compare with the deceased person, Smith said. The Medical Examiner’s Office is now reconstituting fingerprints from the deceased person for comparison to prints belonging to Ahmed. DNA comparison may also be used. 

Ahmed was a determined young man who graduated early from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, then started pharmacy school, his older brother posted on Facebook. He spent his free time studying for his licensing exam, but in a month, he would have been working as a full-time pharmacist.

“I refuse to believe that someone who was just about to successfully start the life that he worked so hard for would have it ended like that,” Ahmed’s brother, Kalvin, posted on Facebook on the day after the body was found in the lake.

Ahmed’s family wondered if an encounter he had while on his way to work the day he disappeared could offer clues to his disappearance. Before he clocked in at 5 p.m., Ahmed was approached by a group of young men, Kalvin Ahmed posted on Facebook. The men had been walking down U.S. 78, and one wasn’t wearing a shirt. When Alvin got out of his car, he was verbally harassed, his brother said.

“How much you make?” one of the men asked. 

But Alvin didn’t answer them and continued into work.

“Alvin didn't confront them and walked to his workplace, with the group continuing to verbally harass him,” his brother wrote. “He told this to his supervisors and coworkers at Publix pharmacy and this is the only time this has happened.”

Kalvin Ahmed said he couldn’t help but wonder if the young men were somehow responsible for his brother’s disappearance. After working until 9 p.m., Alvin grabbed a few groceries for his mother and told his co-workers he was heading home. Video inside the Publix showed Alvin, but there were no cameras to capture what happened in the parking lot. 

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When his relatives found Alvin’s Honda Civic still parked at the Publix, it was unlocked and the groceries were there, along with his white coat for work. The car’s glove box had been searched, according to his brother. But there were no other indications of what may have happened.

Desperate to find their brother, Alvin’s siblings went to work spreading the word about his disappearance, both at the Publix and through social media. “If you're reading this and you have Alvin, just let him go,” his brother posted on Facebook.

A local church held a prayer vigil Friday night, but the Ahmed family was too emotionally drained to attend. The family thanked those that organized the vigil and the community for the kind words and prayers. 

And the family waited, like others following Alvin’s disappearance, to find out if it was his body pulled from the water. 

“No matter what the result is, I truly believe justice will prevail,” Kalvin Ahmed posted. “There is no way anything could have happened to Alvin in that busy area at that time without anyone seeing something.”

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