DeKalb County

Body matching description of missing 21-year-old DeKalb man found off I-20, police say

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The mother of a 21-year-old DeKalb County man who vanished two weeks ago said police told her his body has been found.

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Keontae Chenault disappeared last month after a night out with friends on May 22. Channel 2 Action News first reported on Keontae’s disappearance on Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden spoke to Chenault’s mother, who said she got a call from DeKalb County police Wednesday morning, who said Douglas County police had alerted them a man’s body matching Keontae’s was found off I-20 on May 30.

Keonte’s mother, Kissa Chenault, said detectives confirmed that her son’s tattoos matched the ones on the body that was found.

The medical examiner’s office has still not officially identified the body as Keontae.

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As soon as DeKalb County police told her the news, Kissa Chenault and two family friends drove straight to Douglas County, where they planned to formally identify his body and then take the next steps toward laying him to rest.

That didn’t happen.

Chenault said DeKalb County police confirmed the body was her son because of his tattoos.

“I said, ‘That’s him. He has all three tattoos. That is my son,’” Chenault said.

But Douglas County wouldn’t let her see his body.

“(I was told) that I couldn’t see his body or anything, Chenault said. “They needed DNA from me, and it’s going to take almost two weeks to find out.”

Chenault said the department told her they would do everything they could to expedite the process.

Investigators in Douglas County got involved after the Channel 2 Action News report on Tuesday. Chenault said investigators saw the story, and Keontae’s picture, then called DeKalb police to tell them they had an unidentified body that matched the description and had been in their custody since May 30, eight days after Keontae was reported missing.

“I’m very angry right now because I need this,” Chenault said. “I’ve been looking for him for almost three weeks now and for them to have the body here since the 30th and they contacted Dekalb to let them know... Dekalb County just didn’t do what they were supposed to do, and I’m just upset with them.”

Seiden reached out to DeKalb County to figure out why they prematurely identified him, but he hasn’t heard back. '

Chenault said she can’t wait for weeks.

“I cannot take a long time,” Chenault said. “I need to know.”

The family has started a fundraiser for a memorial to celebrate Chenault’s life.

The circumstances surrounding Keontae’s death remain under investigation.

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