A suspect in a Park Road carjacking case may have drowned after running from his vehicle during a police chase west of uptown, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Tuesday.
Police have traced the man’s footprints to the edge of Stewart Creek, where he also left a backpack. Beyond that, officers and dogs can’t find him, CMPD Maj. Gerald Smith said.
Smith said it’s unlikely the man is still alive.
“We have a great concern for his safety and very possibly his life,” Smith said. The man hasn’t been identified yet.
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The carjacking case began when a Chevrolet Silverado driver was robbed at gunpoint near Ed’s Tavern on Park Road at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, Smith said. The suspects drove off with the Silverado, and police used OnStar in the stolen car to trace it to the Wilmore neighborhood.
While officers were in Wilmore, they found the Silverado and also saw a red sedan matching the description of one involved in the Ed’s Tavern robbery.
The sedan drove off, leading to a short police chase, Smith said. The chase ended around the intersection of Interstate 77 and West Boulevard, where one suspect was arrested.
The sedan’s second occupant ran away down an embankment toward Stewart Creek, and from there, he vanished.
Heavy rain meant the creek was swollen to about 8 feet deep – far above its usual depth of one foot, Smith said.
“He probably didn’t know it, but the bank of that creek was like a quick drop,” Smith said. “So he went straight down and we believe he did go into the water.”
The suspect who was arrested after the car chase has been identified as Jerry McCorey, 27. Smith said McCorey hasn’t provided information about the missing man’s identity.
The Charlotte Fire Department was using a small boat to search the creek Tuesday morning, police said.
Anyone with information about the missing man’s identity or whereabouts should contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or 911, police said.